Saturday, July 16

Happiness is a Choice, Part II .............................. 7/16/11


In all the ages there has never been and never will be a man or woman just like you. You are unique
and have no double. Every life is a fresh thought from God to the world.  (Photographer's caption)

       I know you might think it's late. But another way of looking at this post, is that it's early. My day was satisfying, even in spite of encountering someone's unkindness. I met with someone I mentor, in the afternoon. A bit of fireworks, took place during our time together, but that's fine, it didn't shake me: it was an opportunity to practice emotional Aikido.

        I asked this individual to start thinking about doing community service. (That's not what caused the fireworks.)  It's time he does. He'll think about it, he said.  What he doesn't know is
that if he doesn't find some way of giving away what he's been receiving for the past few years, we will not continue to meet. 

      An interesting experience with someone else, happened later in the day when I dropped by to see a friend. This person is challenged on many fronts. For five-plus years, I've known him as a close friend. Lately, I've differed with this person.  I'm also not as available as I once was.

      He's experiencing difficulties at work. Registered mail from his employer, he received today. It ominously lay on his kitchen table, staring at both of us. Fearful he was, to open it.  I needed to leave.  He could call me, I said, if he wanted to talk;  I was his friend.  I let him know I cared about what he's going through. The answer shot back was not surprising, but unexpected, nonetheless. He declared  I wasn't his friend. I was advised to take care of myself, not worry about him.  That was a fine how do you do.

      The best thing to do, in such moments, I've found, is doing what I did next. Gathering my things to leave, I said, "thank you for your comments. They help me to understand you better."  No trace of sarcasm or anger in my voice or expressions. I left to pick up two women friends who went with me to visit others in Hayward, 18 miles away. Another friend from Los Altos, 30 miles away, rendezvoused with us there.

     The evening was delightful. I was glad being among friends.  Getting away from work and stressed out others was refreshing. Our conversation as a group was rich and fulfilling.Connecting with others strengthens my soul, that's always good.

     I like being with others who are authentic, kind and stay in the solution, when discussing their difficulties. Last night, it was like that. One friend was a crack up; I thanked God for Bob's humor: I needed to laugh as I did.

     My reaction to the time I had with my distraught friend? I'm thrilled I no longer allow others to determine my moods or define who I am. (For more on this click here.)
"When I need the applause of others to feel good about myself, I've given them power over me."   Courage to Change, p. 9
I am not responsible for another person's happiness, nor are they responsible for mine.  I know that no one else can control my emotions. No one can make me angry, sad, happy or anything else without me giving them permission to do so.  My feelings are my own.    Paths to Recovery, p. 13
      Have a fabulous weekend, everyone. Would it be possible for you to share your gratitudes? That would be great!
To read part one of this series, click here. 
Image: "Cumbria: Heavy Weather"  by Tim Blessed © all rights reserved, used by permission

3 comments:

Kelly said...

I'm sure it was somewhat difficult for you to have your friend lash out at you like that, but you probably know that it is his own issues that cause him to act like that and not really you at all. Still.

It can be so exciting (or draining, even) to be around other people, it is easy to think that they play a huge role in how we feel. Being alone is not nearly as....externally stimulating. Even still, it is good to be able to control one's own emotions. It gives me a sense of maturity when I am able to do so.

Gratitudes? More gratitudes? ;)

I am grateful for my ability to control my temper when it comes to my five year old son acting like a five year old.

I am grateful for being acknowledged.

I'm grateful for awareness.

Paul NorthernCal said...

Here's a nugget for those of you who peruse these wee comments tucked beneath my posts:

"Serenity is the pause between reacting and responding."

We only get serenity when we work on ourselves---those issues that need God's refining touch. "Let it begin with me."

We are incapable of improving ourselves by our efforts, alone. Our best efforts have brought us to the place where we are.

@ Kelly, when mistreated, I BREATHE. Thanks for your empathy. Are you trying to get on my good side?? :)

Another good quote I'll hide within this comment:

"To observe without judgment is the highest form of wisdom."

We only reach this state when we work on ourselves, asking for God's help to remove the dross, that we may shine, reflecting more of His character, when interacting with those who are not kind. It's easy to be nice to those who are nice to us. Only when His love is moving through me am I able to be gracious towards those who want to hurt me, while still taking care of myself.

Southern Cross said...

I am grateful for boating experiences I have shared with friends.
I am grateful for the cloud formations which remind me of Gods great power.
I am grateful for the time shared with good friends.

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.

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