There is only one thing we can control in life — our own self. We can control our thoughts, our emotions, our responses. We can observe behaviors and reactions and realize we made a choice. Therefore, we could choose a different response. If we have ourselves under control. –Margaret J. Wheatley
In every moment we have a choice about how to respond to the circumstances we encounter. I see my life as a string of choices and when I look deeply at the persistent complaints in my life I can see that I have the power to change my relationship to the circumstances and make the complaint disappear by understanding more clearly my own responsibility in feeding that complaint. Gaining such insight offers an opportunity for bringing new perspectives into a given situation and give birth to a new way of being in relationship with my life … and with the people in my life.
When I remember to truly focus my thoughts on the choices I am actively making in each moment, I find I am more likely to live into the values, commitments, aspirations and dreams that I espouse. Then I am able to control the quality of my life through the choices I make about my:
– actions (such as what I eat, when I exercise, how I spend my time)
– attitudes (realizing a certain relative isn’t pushing my buttons, she’s just being who she is and I’m choosing to carry buttons that are easily triggered)
– responses to the beings around me (is this person being intentionally inconsiderate, or could it be she is in need of compassion and understanding).
When I remember that I can’t control other beings, and can take control of myself, then I open the door for others to take control of their own actions, attitudes and responses. In this way the people I encounter can increase their sense of empowerment and responsibility, and new and deeper connections between us are born and nurtured.
How will you make choices and take control of yourself today?
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The Words of Wisdom? is a publication of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett.