Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I'll Be Satisfied As Long . . .

do you sometimes find yourself thinking, "i wish he (she) wouldn't behave in that way!  if only [this person] would do as i think best, life would be so much more pleasant," or something along those lines?  i know i do.  lately i've been catching myself as i think such thoughts and asking myself why i would wish someone i care about deeply to behave in a way that is not of their choosing but my own.  what does that say about my desire to control others, to have life on my own terms even if it means changing another's behavior in ways that are not in keeping with that person's own nature?

as i catch myself willing a friend to stop behaving or speaking in ways that are irritating to me, i realize that the thought is about me, not them.  instead, how much more loving it would be of me to accept my friend and realize that friendship is not a matter of control or expecting another to do as i wish.  if we (i) act in lovingkindness toward others, we let go of the need to control and to eliminate that which rubs us the wrong way and instead appreciate the overriding sense of joy found in being in the presence of one we dearly love.

maybe what is needed when we catch ourselves wanting to control another is to accept that we are feeling irritation and say to ourselves honestly that we are irritated and that's ok, but our irritation has nothing to do with the apparent source of the irritation.  instead, it has to do with what's going on in our own heads.  why should we allow the expression of someone else's personality to irritate us?  instead, let's celebrate our differences and realize that, if we were able to control others so that irritation at another's beavior were eliminated, the world would be a duller, less enjoyable place.

my prayer for myself and for others today is that we give ourselves permission to experience irritation and that we accept that our irritation is more about ourselves than it is about what we perceive to be the source of the irritation.  may we live lives that rejoice in ourselves and others as we are and give ourselves permission to experience life fully with lovingkindness and compassion.  shalom.

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