My spiritual teacher used to say “people come into your life to acquaint you with yourself.” When I first heard him say this it seemed like a radical and curious statement. Yet, he also used to say, “don’t believe a word I say, investigate it for yourself.” 🙂 My interest was piqued and so I committed to investigating it and then applying it in my life. I began to do this with each person I encountered – family, friends, work colleagues, clients, strangers on the street. And as I did this I came to realize the power behind the statement — what it truly means.
For me, it’s one of those, “the truth will set you free” kind of things. As a result of this extended investigation, I have come to realize that I am the one who thinks my thoughts, experiences my emotions and feelings. Someone may say something to me that evokes an emotional response on my part – yet I am the one with the emotional response. I am the one reacting or responding. I choose how I will react or respond. In truth, I am responsible for all my responses and reactions. I am responsible for my happiness. It is all within me. Most importantly, I’ve learned that everyone appearing on my “life” stage are simply wonderful, academy-award winning actors. They are playing their respective roles oh so perfectly so that I can accept who I am, just the way I am.
The one interesting piece of this deals with my admitted dislike of disliking someone. It has always felt wrong to me to dislike someone or not be able to find the good in someone. Yet, I’ve come to learn that sometimes, there are people who appear in my life who play the role of “not nice”. At first I resisted this – “good people don’t judge others.” “Good people play nice in the sandbox.” Or … “I just know there’s a pony in that pile.” Oops….not always. The odd thing about this realization is that it has made me more accepting in general of all people and situations just the way they are. Rather than judging people and situations outside myself as good or bad, I can now simply accept everyone, every thing, every situation just as they are, just as it is — good, bad, ugly, beautiful. Who knew this one statement could hold such a rich truth? How magical the result of this investigation.
Where in your life are you resisting those who come into your life or situations that occur? You too can apply this principle. Take it one step at a time:
1. As you walk through your life on a day-to- day basis, consider who is the one who is experiencing your life?
2. Consider – do life’s situations “make” you react a certain way? Or are you the one choosing to react or respond?
3. Do you experience your life as a choice or a reaction? What do you see is the difference?
Consider these questions. Investigate this for yourself and allow those persons, places and things appearing on your ” “life” stage to reveal to you who you are and that your happiness is in your hands. It is your choice. Always. I promise.