Process The Lightning

Process The Lightning

Process The Lightning


When I was younger I was notorious for what my friends and I called “going for the jugular.” What that meant was when I was in an argument with an individual I was always the person who took it to the next level with my words. This is very unhealthy and hard to unlearn. However, with wisdom comes maturity and maturity takes time, so in time I was able to unlearn this terrible reaction. But even though I was responding better to conflicts, I quickly realized that didn’t change the way that situations made me feel.

Think Before You Speak

Thinking before you speak doesn’t always come naturally to me, especially when I’m upset. Wisdom comes with maturity and maturity takes time. Think of a time where you and a friend were having a disagreement, not a fight, just a friendly disagreement on a topic; how did they make you feel? How did you respond? Initial feelings or responses take milliseconds to react, but how do you process those feelings? My first challenge my mentor assigned me was to think before I spoke. I failed miserably (more often than not), but I learned quite a bit about myself throughout that journey. Taking the time to feel an experience all the way through before responding is like some kind of a superpower. Having that level of control over your emotions, regardless of the situation, is an ability that most of us lack. We think we have that ability, but the reality is, we don’t. It’s very difficult to keep calm and consistently take the high road when someone or something makes you angry; at least for me it is. How can you process your feelings all the way through when you’re seeing red?

Listen With Intention

Good listening is a skill set hard to come by these days. In my experience, most people are not good listeners. Most have a premeditated answer ready to go regardless of what you say. They are just waiting for their turn to speak instead of listening with the intent to understand what is being said in the conversation. How do you learn new things if you aren’t a good listener? It’s a question I constantly ask myself. I try to listen with intention at all times in my life so I may consistently learn from experiences I go through in life. However, it is extremely challenging for me to do this when I am irate.

Process Fully

Processing my experiences all the way through before I respond is what Christina and I are working on next in my evolution of regaining empathy. This will help me come off as less direct, less of a person without empathy, moral of the story; less of an asshole. What I learned was this was not an overnight fix. This will be a skillset I’ll need to hone for years to come as I undo the years of bad habits leading up to this point. Speaking my mind before I think has always been a knee-jerk reaction for me and it has damaged many relationships. I have discovered that burying shit deep down and not thinking about it (the stereotypical male strategy) didn’t work for me because it always returned with a vengeance. So, Christina offered suggestions like push ups, jumping jacks, writing it down… anything to push it out of my system. This gives the conflict physical space outside of my body without causing damage to the relationship that caused me to feel this way. Angry-writing my complaints into a notebook before speaking to someone about a disagreement gets better results than if I were to just blow up and start bitching at them. Writing down and re-reading my thoughts beforehand gives me time to cool down, process the depth of my (sometimes conflicting) feelings all the way through, and gain perspective about what both parties are trying to accomplish. Sometimes it takes minutes to process the experience all the way through and sometimes is takes years. No matter what, make sure you process every emotion that arises until forgiveness is the your new normal.


Remember that reaching empathy is the ultimate goal for me. I am forging stronger relationships than ever before. I’ve learned that cutting corners by burying emotions or lashing out will only rob myself of the opportunity to resolve the conflict once and for all. In allowing myself to feel and listen to every word that a friend/partner/colleague states before I lash out, I am able to process their words and watch our bonds grow through a deeper understanding of each other. I am able to process the lightning.


Follow my mentorship journey and read the first blog post I’ve ever written, titled: “Operation “Go Mute.