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coping

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hardlessons posted 4/16/2013 06:52 AM

I have heard a lot about and questions regarding coping mechanisms and I remember thinking that it must be a 1. 2. 3. step process that was in a book somewhere, right?!? And it probably is out there somewhere, but for me the way I used to cope 100% of the time and now less than that was to avoid conflict or get validated by others, passive aggressive communication etc. Especially if someone was angry or hurt by what I said or did. Anger was bad and so it had to be avoided or have greater anger directed back at it. What a douche… Anyway, when I first came here to SI I was like ok I know my current roadmap leads me to fucked up town so there must be another map… What I have learned is that for me to cope better I have to “cope” from a place that isn’t jacked up. When my wife is hurt, I allow her to hurt and share in it. Before I would have found some greater hurt done to me and thrown that out.. When someone is angry with me, the world will continue to turn, life will go on despite all Possible/Verifiable/Obvious/Mind Numbing Horrible Consequences to the contrary and I can hear her anger instead of thinking of a defense or what is the shortest route to the hills..

Now I try to cope by being mindful of my situation and others without carrying the baggage of ego, defense or whatever that clouds my choices in how I am going to deal with others or react to others. Instead of trying to protect myself I can be there for myself and for others. If I feel hurt or sad I can see it for what it is in a present tense and not reach out to some external validation or worthless temporary fix. I can be mindful of who I am and that this will pass. It is a hard concept to learn and do, but it has probably saved me, my marriage and relationships with loved ones around me. To me this is a “coping” mechanism. Not what I envisioned but better than I could have imagined a year ago… So for me coping isn’t a step by step process it is an action of being available and present for ourselves and those around us..

HardenMyHeart posted 4/16/2013 09:25 AM

So for me coping isn’t a step by step process it is an action of being available and present for ourselves and those around us

I agree. I have discovered that you can't control your thoughts, but you can control your reactions to the thoughts. Being patient, compassionate, and mindful are the keys to coping with emotional suffering, especially anger.

I found the following book to be very helpful:
The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

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