So, I was mulling over that she would say to me "You're late, what took you so long." and the different reactions I might have to her comment. I thought it all over from the different perspectives and had that feeling of having done something wrong based on what I knew would be her comment. So what this lead to was me feeling grumbly and frustrated about the situation. I was able to step back and look at the different ways the different parts of me might react to her comment. Besides me having different reactions was also the part of her that is making the comment.
"You're late, what took so long?"
My initial thought and response had to do with being told I had done something wrong and then react to that shame feeling. So that meant coming up with some excuse for why I was later than she expected.
My 10 year old response was:
"Sorry, I lost track of time"
Her 10 year old feeling was:
I have been waiting for you so we could do something fun together and I am mad at you for taking so long.
My 15 year old response was:
"So why does that matter? It wasn't like I had other things I needed to race home and do besides just because the workshop was over at 9 didn't mean I was coming right home afterwards"
Her 15 year old feeling was:
Are you sure you didn't go somewhere else? Who were you with and why did you want to be with them and not me?
My young adult old response was:
" Yes I know we were all excited about the workshop and were talking about it after the talk was over, it was great!"
Her young adult feeling was:
I was worried something had happened I wanted you to be safe and I missed you.
So you can see this is a prime example of how we come from our different parts and the reactions and feelings we have as a result. Often we are just two 10 year olds talking or two adolescents fighting instead of two adults having a conversation. 90% of the time we are coming from our past and reacting from a place other than our adult self.
Now mind you I was having this whole conversation and with all the thoughts in my head with nothing else happening as i was walking home. But I could feel myself having to explain myself and this led to more grumbly thoughts about all kinds of different issues.
All of a sudden I realized I could shift all of this and change my thinking completely from all those parts to my adult self today. I started thinking about how nice and warm it was at home and how much I would enjoy being with my partner and what a lovely evening we could have. I felt a lightness in my step and I began walking faster instead of dreading the comments I was looking forward to spending time with her. When I arrived home I was cheerful and let her know i was happy to see her. She didn't need to question where I was because my energy was joyous and happy and we were able to have an evening from the perspective of two adults instead of two teenagers throwing comments at each other.
If I had still been in that grumbly mood I would have ignored her and gone in the other room just to avoid being 'scolded' for being late and she would have felt hurt and gone to bed sad - both of us acting out those younger parts of ourselves.
Instead we had a wonderful evening after the workshop enjoying our time together without any regard for the fact that I came home later than I usually do after the workshop.
What struck me so much about this was how simply and easily it was to change my thinking which completely changed my mood, my energy and my feelings and also the energy of my partner when I arrived home. Being aware of my thoughts allowed me to gain perspective and make the shift to my happier adult self thoughts. This shift also allowed my partner to feel happy to see me without any regard for the time.
So there are several concepts here:
1. That we often operate from our different childlike parts with those childlike feelings instead of from our adult selves.
2. That we may make a comment "You're late, what took you so long" but really we mean so many different things from - I was worried about you to I wanted to play and I hate waiting. Instead of saying what we really mean we short cut it with a comment.
2. That we can change our thoughts, shift our perspective and completely change ourselves, our mood and our life.
So next time you are feeling grumbly about something ask yourself, who is doing the thinking here and what is it I really want to say and give yourself permission to completely change your thoughts.