There is no law that says you must be thrown by what occurs in Life. Will you confess that what upsets your experience may be extreme? No matter how you may genuinely feel about someone else’s misinterpretation and offense, confess that you are not the fire department who must put out a fire. Why must your alarm go off?
Okay, sometimes Life is upsetting. Now direct your attention to letting the upset cool down. In a calmer setting, more settled, how would you handle the situation now?
Honestly, you had a knee-jerk reaction. Somehow, a situation or something someone said, set you off. It got your dander up. Something from the past, no doubt. Perhaps something from the past that you have no conscious recollection of.
If you did not feel agitated, how might you respond?
Here’s what you can do the next time you feel disturbed by what may well be an innocent mistake and, really, not so heavy-duty as you saw it. The answer I have for you is one word, only one word. This may be a revelation to you. It will save you grief.
It is not the one word Love. In your upset, you do not feel Love at this moment. And to Love isn’t something to try to do. Trying doesn’t work, does it? Love doesn’t come by force.
The one word is not Patience. All you need in the midst of your internal explosion is to be told to be patient – you might bounce off the ceiling if someone told you to be patient as if you could muster patience just like that.
Your gut reaction may well have been to go to battle. Not exactly a war, but you put your dukes up and were ready to fight. Perhaps, your heart was saying to the one who offended you: “How dare you?”
Does any of this ring a bell with you? In the past you have jumped the gun. Is it possible that you are jumping the gun again?
The one word would not be: “Drink,” although drinking water is always a good idea.
The one word would not be: “Hide.”
The one word would not be: “Deny.”
The one word would not be: “Explain.”
The one word would not be: “Vent.”
The one word could be: “Wait.”
The one word could be: “Pause.”
The one word could be three words: “Not so fast.”
Give it a day before you respond. At the time the offender stands right before you, you don’t have to blow off steam. You can simply say, most importantly to yourself: “I’d like to think about this.”
It is almost a sure bet that by the next day, you will not feel so emphatic as you had. You have had a chance to deal with your feelings. Your attention was called to something that exists within you. Your hot temper is yours. Something within you was set off. And it is you who will come to a more even temperature.
Even if someone committed an offense against you so serious that a court of law would sentence him or her to life imprisonment or death for what was done to you or to a loved one of yours, it was all within the offender. This is not to take away from what happened – I am trying to say that as your feelings are within you and not attributable to anyone else, in the same way, an offender’s acts have nothing really to do with you. You feel it personally; you suffer it, yet it is not yours. You happened to be there.
There is much more to Life than how it appears to you. By the same token, there is much less as well.