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Angry child

How I Transitioned from an Angry Child to an Adult: A 40-Year Journey

Last week, I was reading a book by a Portuguese pool. The pool wasn’t my natural habitat, but the book certainly was.

Suddenly, I found myself surrounded. People were playing in the pool!

My pleasant moment vanished. Instantly, anger welled up within me, accompanied by these thoughts:
💥 Don’t they realize my book will get wet?
💥 Can’t they see that I want to relax?
💥 Why don’t they consider me?

I had plenty of ammunition to start a mini-war or express my displeasure by shooting angry glances, hoping others would take notice.

But I made a different choice. I stepped away.
I decided to do so calmly, without resistance.

In the past, I would have stormed off, stomping my feet, prolonging the unreasonable anger by justifying my childish arguments for hours.

🌱 What has changed between those moments of anger and my newfound calmness?

I gradually learned emotional autonomy.

When an emotion arose (that urge to react), I practiced hitting the pause button before acting on that impulse.

So, when anger surfaced, I paused my thought process. I consciously felt the emotion—better described as observing it—and asked myself a few questions:
🌱 Is this emotion and its accompanying reaction reasonable?
🌱 Is my intended response appropriate?
🌱 Who benefits from this reaction?
🌱 Who am I if I believe this story, and who could I be if I embraced a different narrative?

Was my “story” about reality—that people were disturbing my peace—accurate?

In the past, I’d try to push away my anger (because it’s “tough”), but that only made it continued. I wanted to prove myself right! Like a stubborn child.

Thankfully, I found a middle ground: accepting the feeling (saying “yes” to it) and questioning it. Like an adult caring for a child, I gave that emotion the attention it needed. As if releasing a clenched fist, my anger dissipated.

I settled back and continued reading my book undisturbed. Because that’s what I wanted to do at that moment.

Anyone can do this—it’s accessible to all. It just takes practice to turn the observation of emotions into a habit, allowing to hit the pause button. This way, I gradually transform my intuition or gut feelings, leading to a more peaceful life.

And yes, life’s ups and downs still challenge me to steer into emotional hurricanes

How do you react when unwanted emotions arise? 🌟

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