Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Freedom to Choose When you blame others for your life, you give up the power to change, because you are making the other person the cause of your situation. Your self-definition is that of victim. Victims look outside themselves for their good and don’t take responsibility for causing their lives. “You make me mad”; “That drives me crazy”; “You upset me when you do that”. Each statement, depicts the speaker giving away his power. Each reflect the speaker’s inability or unwillingness to make choices to maintain his own emotional stability and peace. There is no event that can cause everyone to feel the same? The picture of an adorable baby draws oohs and ahhhs of admiration or illicit moans of too much work, mess, responsibility. A gory murder movie is reacted to with disgust or laughter depending on the observer’s point of view. The bottom line is no one can make you feel bad. You don’t have to get mad is someone addresses you in a derogatory fashion, anymore than you have to be happy if paid a compliment. Your reaction belongs to you. You can decide to be peaceful despite a chaotic environment. In Searching For Man’s Meaning, Victor Frankl said that no matter what his captors (in the concentration camp) did to him, they could not control his mind. In his mind, Frankl had visions of being back home. Instead of lavishing his captors with hate, he directed his imagination to sweet memories of home. As it turned out, Frankl, as one of the few camp survivors, returned home to his family. Captive of our unwillingness to set our own standards, our lives become individualized concentration camps when we turn over control to others. Next time you are faced with an opportunity to lose your cool, stop and reflect. You can remain unfettered in your own peacefulness. Detach from the learned inclination toward violence. Instead, decide how you would really like to feel. With practice, you will create unflinching peace that is impervious to the whims of others.

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