The gift of not taking things personnally

Everyone has been insulted or hurt along the way and most have had this experience many times. Some stay stuck in their anger or sadness for protracted periods where, if unchallenged, they can literally make themselves sick.

After knowing a few people that should be angry or sad in my opinion, but are not, I have concluded that the difference is in them, not in the parties that have hurt them or the sometimes horrific events that they have encountered. Ostensibly, they have learned how to shift out of that noisy and troublesome, stuck place.

After much reading and practicing, I still get stuck, however much less often. I try not to read into things and to take things much less personally. The principal rewards are sound self-awareness and clarity of purpose. Being grounded in the knowledge that only you can determine if you are happy, successful and peaceful is a powerful reward.

Eleanor Roosevelt was quoted as saying, "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission." Everyone can get to this transcendental state and, in doing so, model this change for your children and for those around you.

An important departure in thinking is to closely examine the things that we tell ourselves. Sometimes this inner dialogue has little to do with reality.

Do you sometimes feel that you are just "too sensitive" and some people are just mean or that you are left out? If these and other negative stories are replayed with some frequency, be aware of these reoccurring themes. Try replacing the negative stories with a translation that is more positive or more neutral. Accept that not everyone will like you. Many others will. What is really important is your approval of your own values and behaviors.

Start each day in a way that honors you. Take a walk, a run, some quiet time journaling; listen to soothing music or other activity that makes you feel good. This small step can be very empowering and will set a positive tone for the day.

When all else fails, listen, really listen to yourself and others. Once you do, you can shift out of arresting anger and sadness. You will have acquired an important tool that will see you through no matter what happens to you. "Being aware that the person you become along the way is more important than what happens along the way." Remember, all kids count.

Scot Hurlburt can be reached by e-mail at hurlburt@wildblue.net

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