What a great reminder and quote from Wayne Dyer (who I think is a fabulous motivational speaker btw). So often in life we find ourselves in situations where someone does something that: hurts us, is unkind to us, treats us poorly, is unfair to us, is dishonest to us, is disloyal to us, is ungrateful to us, or a myriad of other things that hurt or make us sad.
Often times when that happens our initial instinct from the little devil on our shoulder is to lash back, to protect ourselves by fighting fire with fire. After all it’s an eye for an eye right? Wrong. Fighting fire with fire is what I would call a lose/lose situation, and that is never good.
The next time that little devil on your shoulder suggests you fight fire with fire, have the little angel on the other shoulder grab the nearest fire extinguisher and put that bad boy out!
I cannot think of a single time in my life when lashing back at someone made me feel better. On the contrary, the times I was dumb enough to lash back I felt small, and ashamed, and sick inside afterwards. I truly can’t think of a single instance where I felt good about myself after lashing back.
Now contrast that to the times where someone hurt me and I was wise enough to take the high road and not lash back – I can honestly say that those times I was able to feel at peace with myself. Of course my feelings were still sad and hurt, that is to be expected when someone you care about hurts you. But despite the hurt I was able to hold my head high and feel good about how I reacted, and that allows you to feel at peace even in the midst of the worst of storms.
None of us can control how other people treat us in life. We can only control how we react to it. And let’s be honest here – reacting nice when someone else treats you mean is TOUGH! It takes tremendous self-control and self-discipline to control your thinking and to control your temper, especially when someone hurts you, and even more so when it’s someone you cared about that hurt you. That is the absolute worst. I have been there more times than I care to remember. But no matter how much it hurts you have to remember that everyone will have a time when they are called to be accountable for the way they treated others. Thus the sayings of Karma, or what you put out comes back to you, or what goes around comes around, and all those other expressions people use to describe it. But we cannot forget that we are also one of those people who will be held accountable for how we treated others.
That is the reason I keep a sticker on my wall that says “When we stand before God, we will stand alone” as a reminder that when I go before God someday to be held accountable for my behavior I won’t be able to point to someone else and say “well they did this to me first” or “yeah, but they deserved it because of what they did” because I will be there all alone, with no one I can point the finger at or blame. It will just be me. And regardless of what anyone else did or said or how bad it hurt, none of us can justify our bad behavior by blaming anyone else. We had a choice to lash back or to take the high road. We always have the choice.
You may not have the choice to make it hurt less, but you can certainly cause it to hurt more by losing your own integrity in the process. And no one is worth giving that up for. Not anyone. Make it a goal today to be kind no matter what, to take the high road, to hold your head high and be the bigger person. And if that devil on your shoulder starts acting up, tell your angel to grab the nearest fire extinguisher and take care of business :)! Have a happy day everyone!