Have you ever had a complete meltdown over something that wouldn’t usually upset you and wondered where that came from? As we move along through our lives, we are sometimes caught unaware by stirred up feelings we didn’t realize were getting stirred up! We are sometimes just as surprised by the outburst as our loved ones are. That meltdown can feel like an unwanted guest who storms in your back door demanding to be seen.

It’s all too common… You’ve had a long week with lots of seemingly little things going wrong and just not feeling your best. Finally, you are ready to head home for a weekend to rest and get back into a good-feeling groove. Your partner calls to let you know about a forgotten appointment and that he or she will be late coming home. When you hear this news, you explode into angry tears and accusations that don’t really make sense (even to you). What’s this all about?

The meltdown and explosion of angry tears are vivid indicators that there are feelings going on for you that you’ve not noticed or allowed yet. Too often we go through our busy lives and when small hurts, irritations or triggers happen, we tend to brush them aside or push them down. “There’s no time to deal with that now,” you may think to yourself. Or, “It’s not something to make a big deal about. I need to get over it.” Unfortunately, those pushed down, ignored emotions build up and can come out in unexpected and surprising ways and times.

It’s almost as if the emotional stuff you don’t want to deal with because it’s inconvenient, too painful, or seems like no big deal is waiting there, knocking at your back door. When you ignore the knocking long enough, that door is going to break and here comes the meltdown! None of us have to live this way. When you make the time and take the courage to open up your back door, you can process your feelings in gentler ways allowing room for more peace, more happiness and more connection in your life.

Maintain an open door policy
When you keep your “back door” open to whatever you are feeling whenever you feel it, you may begin to notice changes in your life. Having an open door policy means that when something triggers you, you notice it. You might feel irritated when your partner (again) leaves the toothpaste lid on the counter along with what to you is an oozing mess. Allow yourself to feel the irritation and just be with that feeling for the moment. This doesn’t mean you need to charge into the kitchen demanding that your partner clean up the mess immediately.

What it can mean is that you breathe and acknowledge that you are irritated. It is really important that you stay focused on what you are feeling. When stories about how your partner “never” cleans up the bathroom or doesn’t care what you think come into your mind, turn your attention back to noticing your feelings. With breath and an openness to whatever comes up emotionally, you may find the irritation eases much more effectively than if you’d ignored it.

Make friends with the “unwanted guest”
Buddhist nun Pema Chodron advises us to make friends with whatever we are feeling. This may sound like encouraging or inflating the anger, sadness, or grief that you want to be rid of. In a way you actually are! But believe it or not, it’s often easier to let go of uncomfortable feelings when you are “friends” with them rather than when they are kept at bay behind a “shut door.”

It all comes down to love. When you love yourself no matter what emotional state you are in, you are making friends with whatever comes up. When you can love that you are irritated by a toothpaste mess and know that this is just a moment in time, you are on your way to allowing the feelings and letting them go. When the peak of the irritation has passed, you may want to talk with your partner about keeping the bathroom cleaner. It’s up to you. Either way, it is likely that you will be able to communicate more clearly and lovingly about what you want after you’ve allowed the feelings and made friends or come to peace with yourself about them.

When you are allowing your feelings and finding peace with where you are no matter what, you will probably notice your relationships and overall outlook on life improve as well. It may even feel like there’s more space to see all that’s going wonderfully for you! We encourage you to open up to all of who you are and all of your emotions and to love.

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What can you shift, change or “reverse” in you and in your relationships that can make a big difference in your life? For a free report that gives you 14 small things you can do right now to “reverse” and transform the quality of your relationships for the better, visit