Accomplice to Frustration

I was an accomplice to my own frustration.” Peter Shaffer

Think about the last time you felt frustrated about something or someone, how much did you play a part in your own frustration? In the midst of our pain and suffering, it’s easy to see how another person may have contributed to our situation – it’s another to see how we might have played a role. More often than we are aware of, we’re an accomplice in our difficulties. Instead of stepping out of our anger and discomfort, we tend to automatically react. Whether it’s sabotaging our own goals or lashing out at others, our emotions take over and we derail our ideal vision for who we want to be or how we wish to live. We engage with others far longer than we need to or we say things we can’t take back and then tend to beat ourselves up for acting out from an emotional state. We team up with the reactive part of ourselves that keep us stuck in our past or in behaviors that don’t serve us. If we want our lives to change, then, we must begin to recognize that our frustration is actually an opportunity. It is a chance for us to wake up – to do things differently and see what might be driving our emotional reactions. When we decide to stop playing along with our frustration, we actually jump-start the positive change that many of us have long waited for in our life. If we want our relationships, health, work or other important areas of our life to look different, we must decide to act clearly and use whatever we might be feeling in the moment as a gift – a chance to find some wisdom or try new ways of being in our journey. Frustration is a sign that we’ve done things the same way for long enough. And once we recognize that we are the only ones who can change the cycle of our past, we can begin to live the lives we’ve always dreamed of.

Weekly Path to Peace: Break-up with frustration.

  • Where or with whom are you currently feeling frustrated? Identify the areas where you feel you haven’t been able to accomplish what you say you want in your life. For example, if you have wanted to lose weight and keep yo-yo dieting, then your health and wellness might be an area of frustration. It is important to identify all of the areas where we feel frustrated, so we can know we’ve been playing accomplice.
  • Identify the ways we play into our frustration. Do we respond in anger instead of taking a few moments to let cooler thoughts prevail? Do we automatically reach for unhealthy foods when we’re feeling down? Become clear on how you play along with your frustration and then choose one way that you can break-up with your frustration this week. Promise to walk away from a fight or maybe stock the fridge with only healthy foods. Whatever you choose, simply allow yourself to take one different step.

As you begin this week, rate your level of happiness, self-esteem and self-confidence on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not satisfied and 10 being very satisfied. Notice where you are Sunday evening after you do this week’s peace practice to see if there is a change.