What a pleasant realization it is
that I and I alone,
control what’s on my mind or in my heart.
No one else can affect me
without my willingness to let them.
And what’s even better is that
I can change my mind and my heart
and my life will follow.
I am the sole proprietor of my state of mind,
of what's in my heart.
But mine only!
How I use to wish, far too often,
that I had the kind of control over others’ minds
that I have over my own.
I often just wanted others to show up in my life
the way I had scripted them.
Perhaps that's human nature.
But it’s a relief
to be free of the stress
of being in charge of others’ minds and hearts.
It’s quite enough to be saddled with my own.
The positive aspect of this truth
is that I can be as happy,
and as peaceful
as I want to be
by shifting the perspective I have
at any one moment.
And although I can never change
how anyone else chooses to think and act,
I am often surprised
by how accommodating others become
when I treat them lovingly,
regardless of the experience we have been sharing.
Even though I can actually never control others’ actions,
when I change my own behavior,
those I am traveling among
often seem to change in positive ways.
When others are not being loving,
it’s generally because they are afraid.
And people who are filled with fear
often behave in ways that seem unkind to others.
Giving others the benefit of the doubt
goes a long way in fostering the kind of good relations
that can eventually change a whole community.
I certainly have been guilty of snarling at others
and I should not have expected others
to behave any differently.
But what I also know is that when others were loving
in spite of my behavior
I felt an inner shift.
And it was a shift that resulted directly
from the actions of others.
What is obviously true is that
even though I cannot directly control
what anyone else chooses to think or do,
I can sometimes influence the behavior of others
through my own willingness to be kind and generous and loving.
One of the difficult situations
is when I’m in conversation with a good friend
and we have a difference of opinion.
Instead of simply accepting that our opinions differ
and moving on,
one of us in the exchange doesn’t move on.
Sometimes I am the guilty one.
Not always being in agreement is perfectly fine;
in fact, it makes for good discussions
as long as all our opinions are allowed
as well as respected.
Anytime the disagreement gets ugly or tense
is a perfect opportunity to choose love
over any response that might call to me.
We need not be on the same page in our opinions,
but we always need to behave with respect.
And making the decision,
once and for all,
to be loving
regardless of what my ego might be pushing me
to do or say
will always be the best decision.
Being the one
who influences others to become their better self
by always being an example of my better self
Mine and everyone else’s too.
Making the choice to be kind or loving
might be considered a selfish choice.
Because it benefits the giver as well as the receiver.
That matters not at all.
Being kind and loving in every situation
always gives me a sense of well-being.
Nothing around me stays the same
when I make the choice to be loving.
I change and the circumstances change
along with me.