“You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.”
Imagine yourself surrounded by a warm, peaceful vibrational energy with harmony, love and compassion. At the same time you are thrown into a compact world full of whirlwind, chaos, intolerance, negativity, greed and self-centeredness. Call me crazy, I’m just one person in the midst of world full of 6.8 billion people, but I truly believe a person can live peaceful with positive energy despite all the many obstacles we are faced with each morning we wake up and step outside our home.
Recently, I watched a piece from Oprah’s Next Chapter that featured Lady Gaga (One of the most inspiring artists sending the message of Healing and Being Yourself). I am probably one of the few that did not grow up watching Oprah or cling to any of the latest pop star singers out there. Call me a non-conformist, but I’ve always been a true believer that each of us is our own super star (in our own way) and we are all gifted with sharing ourselves with the world. However, it is our choice if and how we go about doing that. Both of these inspiring women have affected me from the core of who they are and what their cause and message stands for.
After watching the piece on Lady Gaga it dawned on me (a concept I’ve known but really resonated) that everyone, no matter who we are struggle with something and it is up to us to decide if we want to heal. It is also an innate part of each of us to send our own unique message to the world. We don’t have to be famous or have tons of followers on social sites or even worth millions. All we have to do is be ourselves and if we come from the heart and the core of who we are then our message will radiate to others.
“We all appreciate in others the inner qualities of kindness, patience, tolerance, forgiveness and generosity.” ~Dalai Lama~
The Dalai Lama says it best in this quote and it works both ways (when we are the one tolerant or when others are tolerant of us). When someone is considerate toward us, even if we are not considerate of them, don’t you feel more at peace with yourself knowing there are still people out there that, in fact, do have a kind heart? It seems more often than not, this world is full of hate instead of love (and quicker to anger) with people who are more willing to consult their ego for defense instead of their heart for forgiveness? When others are tolerant of us, it’s almost like a permission slip that it’s okay to let our own guard down (when angry) and push it aside and sneak that tiny smile on our face that we all really long to do. I mean who really wants to stay in anger when there is so much more to smile and laugh about?
Recently, while in my good mood and surrounded by that positive energy that I mentioned in the opening of this blog, it helped me deal with a surprising, unexpected, confrontational encounter that normally otherwise would have gotten my ego kick started in defense. I mean who doesn’t tend to let their ego rear its ugly head when confronted? It takes a lot of energy sometimes to redirect ourselves into thinking in more of a positive light but when we do it, we are really healing ourselves and making our own lives better.
Yesterday, I was walking my two tiny 6 lb dogs inside the hallway of our condo building when a man came out of the stairwell unexpectedly. The man had a foul look on his face when my dogs became startled by his unexpected presence and they began barking. This man looked to be clearly in his 60’s and acted as if he were a small child. He immediately placed his hands over his ears in discontent and scowled harshly, giving me the nastiest look I’ve ever seen. Being in a hallway, the space was tight as he passed me, he backed up against the wall as if my two small doggies were vicious killers. Inside I was thinking…Oh My God, it’s not that serious to get so worked up over. Most people wouldn’t let a barking dog ruin their day and act in such an unappealing way. Just as he passed in that confined hallway, my tiny dog (on a short leash) jumped on his leg quickly in a friendly way (I pulled her off quickly). The man then started into a rage. He was screaming so loudly the most horrible profanity at me I’d rather not repeat here. All this anxiety over a tiny dog barking followed by a curious jump as he passed. Don’t get me wrong, I understand not all people are friendly toward animals but I couldn’t help thinking, If he has that strong of a dislike for pets, it’s not too wise living in a pet friendly building were most residents have a dog! In the midst of being screamed at with nasty profanity would normally cause me to resort to the same, childish, disrespectful behavior. How many of you reading this are agreeing that you resort to the same behavior? However, I felt like I was in a protective bubble due to my good energy and I didn’t get upset or act in a manner that would project any further negativity onto anyone. Instead, I let the man act childish and scream. Once he was finished, I politely said, “I’m sorry my dog jumped on you, it wasn’t intentional, she’s just a friendly curious puppy that got startled.” Needless to say, he didn’t reply kindly but that’s okay. I again said, I’m sorry for the inconvenience and walked away.
I told myself that I did not deserve the way the man spoke to me (especially the profanity and screaming) but he did that because of him, not because of me. I also didn’t take it personally and told myself that someone like that needs compassion and love not more anger. I actually walked away from that confrontation feeling good about myself because I held true to being who I chose to be regardless of the negative energy being thrown at me. It made me realize that we definitely do not need to attend every argument we are invited to. In the end, I’m sure I will run into him again living in the same building so I did what I felt was right in my heart, and in my best interest instead of letting his anger take hold of me. I hope this helps anyone who struggles to show compassion when others can’t show you the same courtesy.
Some tips on dealing with an unexpected confrontation:
1) Stay calm and quiet while letting the other person yell, scream and act out of control. (It’s actually more funny instead of upsetting when you see someone else acting so ridiculous over something minor and meaningless).
2) Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience. (Author Unknown)
3) You don’t need to attend every argument, you’re invited to. (Author Unknown)
4) Showing kindness instead of anger heals you more and sends the message for them to do the same (even though they may not).
5) A bit of rage seasoned with compassion always tastes better than rage with a side of more rage.
6) In the end you always have to live with your own actions and reactions. You can’t blame the other person for how you behave.
7) You always have a choice in every situation.
8) Realize what others do is because of them so don’t take it personally.
9) If you were able to view yourself acting like a raging idiot over a trivial argument would you really be proud of yourself? We have all acted like at some point in our lives but hopefully we can learn and grow from past experience.
10) Remember…who cares what your opinion or view-point is in the heat of battle? Think of how you view their opinion, you don’t care! So why waste your good energy trying to convince them of yours? Who cares either way, let them feel the way they feel and you’re allowed to feel the way you feel.
What unexpected encounters have you dealt with and how did you handle them? Do you let your ego control you?