“Don’t get upset with people and situations because both are powerless without your reaction.”
I came across this quote this week. There was a picture of Buddha with it, but I have no idea if it is a Buddhist quote. If I don’t react to things around me, then I don’t give them my power. It goes along with acceptance. It about how I invest my emotions in the things that around me. When I accept something, I am saying that it is. Nothing more. I am not saying that I like it. I am not saying that it needs to be changed. I am outside of that judgment. It simply is.
My emotional involvement in people or situations will not change anything. Getting angry with another driver for cutting me off will not change anything. The other guy might not have realized that he did what he did. He may wonder why some freak in the car behind him is blowing his horn and blinking his lights. He probably can’t hear your shouting and can’t count how many fingers you have pointed into the air. If I accept that the guy cut me off then I am not giving him power, nor am I giving my power to what he did. If I learn to remain calm, and accept, I keep my power and I keep my serenity.
Acceptance does not equal approval.
Acceptance is separate from judgement. I don’t have to like what is happening when I accept it. I am simply acknowledging that it is. I don’t like it when people treat me with disrespect. I don’t like it when I’m cut off in traffic. It bothers me when my efforts go unnoticed or unappreciated. I can still accept that it happened and then make a decision about what to do or not do about it. I don’t have to give away my peace of mind, my serenity when it happens. I have the ability to choose where and how I express my emotions. Another person cannot piss me off unless I let him.
I can’t control people, places or things.
My circle of control extends to about as wide as I can stretch my arms and sometimes it contracts about as far as the tip of my nose. If I am angry or upset or frustrated about something, it is because I have allowed that to happen. You didn’t do it to me, the event didn’t do it to me. I did it to me. That’s a hard pill to swallow at first. My immediate reaction is to lash out. But like everything else, it is a process. First I see that I lashed out when something happened. With some more practice I then recognize it when I am in the midst of it and finally I stop myself before I lash out at someone because I do not want to give my power to them. It’s not a straight line process either; sometimes I am in acceptance and sometimes I jump right to anger.
“…Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly…” Working on our reactions and turning them into responses that are thought out takes time. Trust the process. Trust your ability to make a change. Nothing is impossible.