Have you ever noticed how something sets you off and you let loose on someone, not just about the thing that set you off, but everything that ever set you off? That’s because, quite often, our upsets are stored in a dark pool inside us. Some of us may be more just or more organized than others, and we only yell at Person A for Person A’s wrongdoings; some of us just let go on everyone for everything.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. There is a school of thought that teaches there is nothing that can upset us unless we allow it to, unless we give another’s actions power over us. The idea is that we are in charge of ourselves: what we think, what we feel, what we say and what we do.
This is serious business, accepting responsibility for ourselves. It’s a powerful life philosophy because we can completely transform our lives. We can stand back, breathe deeply, look around as if we were watching a movie, no longer an actor, but an observer. From this vantage point, we can see the girlfriend wasn’t cheating on the guy, she had just stopped to help someone with directions. As a movie-goer, we see the boss is worried about her own job, not our production like she said. As an observer, we see the guy’s face when he cuts us off in traffic and we realize something is terribly wrong in his life.
A shift like this means we don’t take everything personally. We see there is a lot going on that has nothing to do with us; and for the things that are related, we can choose upset, or to consciously look a little deeper. From the deeper place, doors to communication open; understanding grows, forgiveness develops, wisdom increases, and life changes for the better.
It’s not easy to make a change like this. But it certainly is possible and it’s very worthwhile. We know ourselves better and we know others better. We see how much we all have in common, not how different we are. We are all human beings with the same basic human needs. It is just our small-egos that tell us differently.