When we are under pressure and stress we behave and react differently than when we are content and happy. We sometimes get upset when our friends and family, under stress, behave in a strange, indirect or childish manner. We may get upset or misread their behavior by leaving them alone when they actually need our attention the most.
Do you know how your mate, friends or family behave when under stress? How do you communicate under stress? Do you talk about the source of your stress with your friends right away? Do you frantically clean the house or your car? Do you run to the gym? Do you rush to the refrigerator or your favorite store in the mall? Do you look for a just cause to release your emotions?
Someone who has been raised not to ask for their needs will not speak up when they are hurting or stressed. They most likely withdraw and become quiet. If we are the type that expects direct communication, we may take their lack of interaction personally and complicate matters by assuming their behavior is something personal against us or they do not need our support.
In the context of Tending to Your Garden Within, it is important not to generalize or expect certain behaviors from the plants in our garden within. An effective gardener needs to learn how the plants react when happy or under stress. The poem below describes this protective mechanism further.
Do Not be Fooled
Do not be fooled by the mean look.
Do not be fooled by the frown or lack of eye contact.
Tough appearances are not an indication of a lack of pain or suffering.
The withdrawn is seeking to connect in their own way.
You may not know how the withdrawn
wants to connect and communicate.
It varies from personalities and communities.
See and feel the situation with your heart
not purely with your eyes.
Feel the walls built to dam the pain within.
An empathetic word, a smile, a hug or a phone call
may break the dam
turning the tough looking person into a grieving child.
See the heart rushing toward the dam.
Burst open the dam.
Copyright @ 2011 by Shervin Hojat