So I have a situation in my life right now that, due to the actions of other people who are involved, is not going the way I would prefer it to. Not even close. And it seems that I am constantly finding myself in a feeling of resentment about it, which is not a pleasant feeling at all. I want this endeavor to go the way I want it to go, and the more it doesn’t live up to my original expectations of it, the more frustrated and irritated and, yes, angry and hurt, I become.
Well, as you’ve all heard me say countless times over the years, this is just a circumstance. And circumstances are completely neutral. “Circum-stance” means “that which stands around me,” and it doesn’t get any more neutral than that, does it? Which means what? It means that the circumstance, itself, does not care one bit what I think of it or how I feel about it. It just IS. It also means that – as is ALWAYS the case – I get to choose how I experience this circumstance. I can sit here and stew in my resentment, and let that resentment set the tone of my responses as things progress, or I can choose a different experience of the situation, which will automatically change my responses.
I asked myself a couple of days ago, “Who do I want to BE in this?” And the answer was that I want to be one of those people who is not bothered by stuff like this even when it’s something that’s important to them – something that they have a lot of time and money and “self” invested in. I want to be like the mystic, or the guru, or the “practitioner” who has been practicing their spiritual work for so long that things like this don’t have the power to knock them off balance. You know, someone who can easily forgive and be loving no matter what appears to be happening in the circumstance. Someone who does not blame others or keep score of all the “wrongs” that they have done. That’s the version of me that I would like to be in this.
However, when I got honest with myself I had to admit that that version of myself feels way out of reach right now. So, what to do? I know I do not want to stay angry and resentful, and that something’s got to change… (in me. Not in this other person’s behavior. I don’t get to ask or expect this other person to change just so I can feel better in the situation. While they are responsible for their actions, and the consequences of those actions, they are not responsible for my perception or emotional experience of their actions.) …but as I saw the vision of the me that I want to be, the only thing that came to me was, “I’ll never be able to live up to that. It’s too far away from where I am right now.”
And the next thought felt like a suggestion straight from the Divine, “Rather than trying to live UP to something that feels so far out of reach, why don’t you just live IN to those qualities as best you can from here? Just live IN to that version of you in the best way you can in each moment. You know that version of you does exist. Stop trying to force it. Just live IN to it.” And in that idea I found my emotional ease.
I cannot force another person to make the choices that I want them to make. But I can be aware enough in the moment to pay attention to the tone of my own attitudes and responses as things move forward. Resentment breeds responses that will just create more resentment, and I know it.
For now, I choose to keep in mind the version of me that I want to be. I choose NOT to pressure myself to live UP to that vision because I can feel a lot of “martyr mentality” in that. Instead, I choose to allow myself to just be aware, and to live IN to that version of me to the best of my ability in each moment, in response to each new development along the way.
And I choose to feel better—because I CAN.
What about you? What are you experiencing right now that you would like to feel better about? Who do you want to BE, moving forward from here? Try living IN to that version of you, rather than living UP to it. More than anything else, this is about being gentle and loving with ourselves, while choosing personal empowerment in dealing with others. And we are all capable of that.
Have an awesome day if you choose to!