This article is taken from Joshua David Stone, Ph.D’s book called Soul Psychology — How to Clear Negative Emotions and Spiritualize Your Life.
Step 1 :
Write down either the details of the incident or the exact behavior of the other person with whom you were dealing. For example, maybe the incident was a traffic jam on the freeway, or your mate became angry with you. The first step is just to write down objectively what has happened.
Step 2 :
Write down your response to either the incident or the other person. For example, your response to the traffic jam might have been impatience and annoyance. Your response to your mate might have been defensiveness and anger. This step is just to write down objectively how you responded, regardless of whether that response was appropriate or not.
Step 3 :
This is the key step. Choose to look at the incident or the other person’s behavior as being your master teacher, instructing you on a lesson that you need to learn. Imagine that the incident or person is an instrument that God is using to teach you a lesson and give you an opportunity to grow spiritually. Your negative response stems from the fact that you are not looking at the situation as a teaching, lesson, challenge, and opportunity to grow. The traffic jam is your master teacher. Your mate’s anger is your master teacher.
Step 4 :
Make a list of all the psychological and spiritual qualities that you are being given the opportunity to learn. In the example of the traffic jam, you are being taught patience; or preference rather than attachment; or how to look things as lessons; or surrender. Perhaps the first things you are being taught with people is an example of how not to be. Some people set good examples and some set bad examples. You can learn from both. You know how it feels to be on the other end of someone’s anger and attack, so that teaches you not to be that way.
Possible Lessons :
- To own your personal power
- To be the cause of your own emotions and not let your mate cause your emotions
- Not to let your mate put you into the underdog position
- To respond instead of react
- To be a master instead of a victim
- To learn when to talk and when to be silent
- Transcendence of ego
- To maintain the right relationship to self and relationship to God — the two most important relationships in your life.
You’ll find that many of your life lessons repeat themselves over and over again.
Step 5 :
After listing all the wonderful lessons and wisdom you have learned, then bless or thank the other person in your mind, or in person, for giving you the opportunity to learn these lessons. Make a firm resolution that when you are again tested in the following day, week, or month, you are going to be mentally strong and prepared to respond appropriately. Realize that you will indeed be tested again, either with the same person or incident or with a new person and new incident, until you master the lesson.
Step 6 :
Review your “Spiritualizing Negative Emotions” work on a weekly and monthly basis. Use the six-step process for mastering your emotions anytime you get into a sticky emotional situation. By using this process and doing it on paper, you will see more clearly what is happening. Evaluate the amount of time and energy it now takes you to “learn you lessons.” Remember that if you truly learn from this experience, you will never again have to experience those negative feelings.