All too often I hear clients say things like "They made me so mad!" or "I lost my temper because of what they said!". The reality is if you're mad, YOU are mad. If you lost your temper, it is because YOU lost your temper. It's time that people start empowering theirselves to be aware of and in control over the emotions we let in and out of our being.
I am going to share one of my favorite stories to help you understand this a little better.
This is a story of Buddha that has been shared and retold many times so this is my take on the story.
One day, Buddha was sitting atop a hill and sharing his wisdom on inner peace to all the townspeople who wanted to hear him. Buddha explained that you are the one in power over your thoughts, feelings and reactions and that you do not have to take offense to or give your power away to other people. A townsman was annoyed by Buddhas teaching and said he was going to prove that Buddha was wrong by personally offending Buddha in front of everyone.
The townsman waited until the next time Buddha sat atop the hill and at that moment threw every insult and slur at him that he could possibly muster. Buddha sat still and listened to this man while he spit out the most demeaning and hurtful things.
When the man was exhausted by his own verbal assault, he looked Buddha in the eyes with anger and confusion and asked "Why aren't you mad? I just offended you the best I could and yet you're just sitting here like nothing!"
Buddha looked at the man and asked "If someone bought you a gift and tried to give it to you but you did not need or want it, so you kindly refused the gift, to whom does the gift now belong?"
The townsman responded "If they bought it, then it would belong to them, especially if no one would take it. But you're not answering my question! Why aren't you offended?"
Buddha rose and replied "I am simply not accepting the gift you brought me. It belongs only to you."
Can we start to slow down and recognize that when a person attacks us, even if it's as simple as being honked and yelled at in traffic, that it is a gift that someone else owns and we don't need to take it.
We do not have to accept other peoples lack of control over their emotions, thoughts and reactions.
Lets remember that we get to chose if we want to respond in control and with intention or we can we only react powerlessly and immaturely.