Saturday, January 28, 2017

Up to me

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,  
as joyful,  
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  
simplifies life.  
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. 


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