Thursday, October 22, 2009

It’s easy to be kind when you’re in a good mood: But how about when you’re in a bad mood?

Hide… don’t come out till you’re in a good mood! Just joking ☺.

Well, actually, I’m only half joking because sometimes you do have to spend some time alone to reflect, get out of a negative state, and find your balance again.

Because life experiences exist through relationships – relationship with your Self, family, co-workers, partner, friends – more often than not, we unconsciously allow our mood or state of mind to be affected by others, especially by those closest to us.

So really, when you think about it, it’s easier to be kind when a person is being nice to you, but it’s not so easy to remain kind when they’re not acting in ways that please you.

So instead of asking how do I remain kind when I’m in a bad mood, perhaps the more appropriate question here would be: How do I remain kind even when someone isn’t being kind to me?

Let’s face it, most of us let our ego step in when someone isn’t acting in a way that we prefer. The little devil on your left shoulder would have you judge, belittle or get even in some way. But the little angel on your other shoulder would remind you that you could handle things with class and civility.

If you choose to let ego in, you’re then choosing to react to the situation rather than act. Reactions are influenced by someone or something outside your Self. When you react, you’re showing that someone or something has control over how you feel and what you do – that someone or something has more power over you than you have over your Self.

However, if you choose to drop ego, you’re then choosing to act to the situation rather than react. This means you’re in control. You’re aware that you do not need to let anyone’s negative behavior alter the goodness you possess. You get to choose to act in alignment with your highest value – not react to the other person, whose values are not so impressive to you at the moment.

Sometimes you can do your best and have the best intentions, yet things don’t turn out kindly. There may have been others involved who didn’t have the same good intentions, or win-win mentality. This is why, sometimes, even the darkest of situations can arise from seemingly good people.

You see, even good people make mistakes. That’s how they learn. Perhaps whatever a person is doing that’s not so pleasing to you, you can now understand – because you yourself have been there before. You, too, have done things that are not so pleasing at times.

You’ve made mistakes, too, and you’ve learned; so you can now have some compassion for what others are going through – even if you don’t agree with it. Because you’ve been there before, you know it’s not easy to learn the right lessons, and sometimes you can make the same mistake numerous times before you actually learn.

You also understand how easy it is, while we’re learning, to be influenced by other people’s behaviors – how easy it is to let ego take over and react to others by reciprocating anything upsetting, rather than take control and act according to your highest values.

It takes practice to have control of your Self. It takes conscious awareness of all this to be able to act with class and civility. Just by keeping all this in mind, you would already be on the right track to self-refinement. This kind of awareness of your Self, in itself, can help you stay grounded – help you act with integrity.

When you find a person being disrespectful, even after you’ve been kind to them, you can’t help but feel disappointed. But give yourself credit for not wasting time reciprocating the disappointment.

By not reciprocating what you don’t appreciate, you’ve contributed to that person’s life lessons while they were making their mistakes. With this, you’ve made a positive difference altogether, whether you believe it or not.

Realizing this, instead of staying disappointed, you could perhaps make a decision to do your best to better the situation for yourself and the other person, but also, know when to walk away — especially if your display of kindness is being taken for granted.

Realize that when you’ve put in your best efforts to make things right with another person, yet they’re not meeting you half way, you can move on from that situation with no regrets. Your lessons there with them are over; it is time to move on to bigger, better, more rewarding lessons.

For the other person who is still learning the lesson, their mistakes may have to continue somewhere else, perhaps with someone else who is more at their level, or at their stage in life.

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