To shift your state of mind, make the choice to be loving regardless of the situation.
What a pleasant realization that we, and we alone, control what’s in our minds. No one else can affect us without our willingness to let them take charge. And what’s even better is this: you can change your mind and your life will follow. You are the sole proprietor of your state of mind. But of your mind only!
How we wish, far too often, that we had the kind of control over others’ minds that we have over our own. We do want others to show up in our drama the way we have scripted them. That’s human nature, perhaps. And while that may be true, it’s also a relief to be free of the stress of being in charge of others’ minds. It’s quite enough to be saddled with our own mind. Period. The positive aspect of this truth is that we can be as happy, as joyful, and as peaceful as we want to be by shifting the perspective we have at any one moment. And although we can never change how anyone else chooses to think and act, we are often surprised by how accommodating others become when we change our minds and treat them lovingly, regardless of the experience we have been sharing. Even though we can actually never control others’ actions, when we change our own behavior, those we are traveling among often seem to change in positive ways.
Even though we can actually never control others’ actions, when we change our own behavior, those we are traveling among often seem to change in positive ways.
Let’s consider a few of the situations in which we might choose to be loving. Perhaps a neighbor begins to pry into our affairs and we are distressed by their actions. It’s certainly not surprising that this may upset us; however, when others are not being kind, it’s generally because they are afraid. And people who are filled with fear often behave in ways that seem unkind to others. Giving the neighbor 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 when I was feeling afraid; and I can’t expect others to behave any differently. But what I also know is that when others were kind 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 we cannot directly control what anyone else chooses to think or do, we can sometimes influence the behavior of others through our own willingness to be kind and generous in our actions.
One of the situations that I find most difficult is when I’m in conversation with my spouse or 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 guilty of this. Sometimes my spouse or friend is. Not always being in agreement is perfectly fine; in fact, it makes for good discussions as long as all opinions are allowed as well as respected.
Anytime the disagreement gets ugly or tense is a perfect opportunity to choose kindness over any response that might call to us. We need never 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 kind regardless of what our egos might be pushing us 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 our better self simplifies life. Ours and everyone else’s too. Making the choice to be kind or loving might be considered a selfish choice. Why? Because it benefits the giver as well as the receiver. That matters not at all. Being kind and loving in every situation that calls to you will always give you a sense of well-being. Nothing around us stays the same when we make the choice to be kind. We change and the circumstances change along with us.
Nothing is as easy as deciding to make a tiny shift in our perception, and that tiny act rewards us in very big ways.