Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.
- Stephen Covey, Author and Speaker
This quote came today in one of the daily motivational ezines I subscribe to. It was a nice reminder for me as I'm going through some personal transitions. I thought it was also a good reminder for all of us, whether we're celebrating Independence Day in the U.S. or just enjoying the Monday of a new week.
Take a moment to read the quote again slowly and think about it. It contains the nugget of truth that, I believe, leads to true peace and happiness....
We decide how people, things, situations, and events will affect us. And we have control over our reactions - or non-reactions to them.
In other words, nobody can "make" us mad or "make" us angry or upset, or even "make" us happy. We decide how we will feel.
Granted, a lot of times we may have a "knee-jerk" reaction to something somebody does or says. But that just means we've fallen into an unconscious pattern or habit. It's our choice whether we continue that reaction or whether we dig deeper and discover the core issue so that we can resolve it.
But that takes work, doesn't it?
It's so much easier to blame someone or something. And most likely, we'll even find a few people to support us in our blame game.... And that validation feels soooo good!
Only problem... this road leads to everything but peace of mind and inner happiness.
Is it worth it?
Like breaking any habit, changing a behavior takes conscious, consistent awareness.
The first stage of awareness is noticing - noticing how we respond to people and situations, noticing how we feel in each instance, and making a conscious decision if that's the response we want to continue.
As we go through today, celebrating or working, let's exercise our ultimate freedom - deciding for ourselves how others will affect us.
Remember, it's not Them - it's Us.... It's our own individual, personal choice.
Here's to continuing the Journey... celebrating another day of ultimate freedom - the power to choose!