“Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace” advises Dalai Lama XIV. In the perfect world this would be a given but in our hectic, stressful and time pressured lives, how easy is it to do? We are social beings, we spend most of our days in the company of others. We work, eat, socialise and sleep with significant others. Our days are filled with interactions and impromptu meetings. This of course is lovely when we are surrounded by like minded, open and compassionate individuals, but chances are that at some point during the day we will meet with a situation that does not go as planned. Can we really remain calm in this kind of environment?
It is a given that someone who is not as like minded, compassionate or as understanding as ourselves will likely cross our path. When we do not get the response we hoped for we can often feel frustrated, victimised and perhaps even angry. We are sensitive beings, it is understandable that the words, attitudes and actions of others can feel harmful.
However, as difficult as it may be, we must keep an objective mind. Negative actions and attitudes are an attribute of the person/situation that we are encountering. The very person that is frustrating us could, at that very moment, be experiencing the worst day of his/her life. Maybe their job is under threat, maybe their partner left, maybe their house is being repossessed, maybe there was a death in the family.
Whatever the reason, negative and unhelpful attitudes are often a side effect of unpleasant circumstances. So even though you may be feeling a slight frustration with the interaction, let it go. Practice compassion. Shift your focus to yourself. Control your reaction to the situation and not the situation itself. Use the sense of frustration to learn about your own fears and sensitivites. Grow from the experience. Above all, appreciate that the person you are facing is having a hard day too.
Keep an awareness of all your interactions. Let go of situations that you cannot control. Observe your inner feelings, learn from them and react with strength and compassion.
© Copyright: Siobhain McConnell / Wild Women Coaching
Illustration credit: Molly Cules / Buddha Doodles