How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours. With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”
At any given moment in our lives, we all have the opportunity to choose how to respond to the external events taking place, and our response will ultimately determine our fate. How can this be? How can we learn to actually ‘control’ the way we respond to others, especially when they appear to be acting angry, deceitful, or indifferent towards us?”
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours
Years ago when I was living in Los Angeles and studying acting, my acting coach would repeatedly tell us that if we wanted to be good actors we needed to understand that you cannot negotiate human behavior. By this, she meant that people do what they do because that’s just what they do.
She would often joke, “the worm eats an apple because that’s just what they do, and the characters we play are just like worms.” What she was trying to teach us was that if we wanted to be good actors, we could not judge the characters we played, for whenever we judged ourselves we stopped being one with the character.
The exact same thing applies to all of our relationships. Every time you judge someone because they are not acting the way we want them to, we lose our connection or oneness with them. It’s what Mother Theresa meant when she said, “If you judge people, you don’t have time to love them.”
So what is the solution then?
Let go of any expectations that people in your life should behave a certain way.
And what about all the feelings of anger and other emotions that arise when we’re not being treated the way we want to?
Sit with them and allow them to be. Treat them as a gift from life that is telling you that there’s a greater lesson to be learned, and something deeper within yourself waiting to be healed.
- Given what just happened, what would I like to create instead?
- What would be the most loving, assertive and compassionate way I can respond?
- What is this person or situation teaching me about myself?
- In what new ways am I being asked to grow, change or be different?
- What new quality or virtue is seeking to be expressed?
The moment you release your judgment of others by releasing your expectations of them and allow yourself to truly sit with all those unwanted emotions that come up for you, you start to develop the capacity to start responding – instead of reacting – from a healthier, more loving part of your personality. This is the beginning of personal responsibility, the end of negative karma, and the first step towards Emotional Mastery.
Responding to life from a place of love, appreciation, compassion, understanding, and forgiveness is the fastest way to create deeper, more loving relationships in all areas of your life. And the fastest way to start living the 12 Virtues of the Heart.
Feel free to leave your comments below.
From my heart to yours.
Photo by Aziz Acharki