“How people treat you is their Karma, how you react is yours.” – Wayne Dyer
So often in life we find ourselves in situations where someone does something to us that is hurtful, unkind, ungrateful, unfair, unwarranted, dishonest, or a myriad of other mean things that hurt us or make us feel bad. And often times when that happens our initial thought from the little devil on our shoulder is to lash back and protect ourselves by fighting fire with fire. An eye for an eye, right?! Wrong!!
Fighting fire with fire is what I would call a lose/lose situation. 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 after. 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 – in those times I was able to feel at peace with myself even though my feelings were still sad or hurt. And despite the hurt I was able to hold my head high and feel good about how I reacted and that gave me peace even in the midst of the very worst of life’s storms.
None of us can control how other people treat us, we can only control how we react to it.
Reacting nice when someone else treats you poorly is TOUGH!!! REALLY TOUGH!!! It honestly takes tremendous self-control and self-discipline to control your thinking and to control your temper when someone treats you poorly. But the thing I’ve found that helps me most to stay in control when others are being horrible is to remember that everyone will one day be held accountable for the way they have treated others. In addition, Karma is a very real thing and what people put out will one day come back to them – it may come back fast or it may come back slow, but it will always come back in the end…that is guaranteed.
We also have to remember that we are also one of those people who will be held accountable for how we treat others. That’s why I keep a a sticker on my wall that says “When we one day stand before God, we will be standing alone” as a reminder that when I stand 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 “well they deserved it because of how they treated me” because I will be standing before Him alone, with no one I can point the finger at or blame – it will just be me. SO regardless of what anyone else did or said, or how bad it hurt us, none of us can justify bad behavior by blaming anyone else. We had a choice to lash back or to take the high road – We always have that choice. And while we didn’t choose to be hurt we can certainly cause it to hurt more if we allow ourselves to lose our own integrity in the process. No one is worth giving our integrity up for. No one.
Make it your goal to be kind no matter what, to take the high road, to be the bigger person. And if that little devil on your shoulder starts acting up, grab the nearest fire extinguisher and have your little angel on the other shoulder take care of business :)!
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the newly released book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )