Have you ever had someone make a decision that was so deeply disappointing to you that you just wanted to walk away from the relationship?
I'm not talking about someone being disloyal to you, or acting in a hurtful way to you, but rather a person that you care about doing something that you thought was wrong or stupid, and because they did it you wanted end your relationship them.
I have- several times, most recently about 2 weeks ago. I was so angry, and so disappointed, that I was ready to walkout and slam shut the door on the relationship. (I'm not going to name the other party but it was NOT my wife.)
My initial emotion, my disappointment, was so strong that I had some sort of "fight or flight" type of reptilian brain response. I was angry. In fact I was flat out pissed.
Today, all is well, the relationship is intact and all is good.
Why? Because my core beliefs quickly righted my course.
The reason that I have Beliefs as the first Gift in the "9 of Life's Greatest Gifts" series is because Beliefs are so foundational to everything else in our lives. By consciously choosing our beliefs we can maximize the amount of time we spend being happy, fulfilled and content. And minimize the time we spend angry, worried and regretful.
Shortly after my initial emotional reaction my consciously chosen core belief that, 'everyone is doing the best they can with what he they have', caused me to reevaluate how I was reacting to this persons decision.
This, 'everyone is doing the best they can with what he they have' belief, serves me well. It allows responsibility to remain with the correct person and at the same time allows me to step outside of my visceral reaction of blame or condemnation.
If I experience anger it's because that's the best I can do in the moment, but I find it impossible to simultaneously be both angry and happy, and since I prefer to be happy I deliberately seek the shortest path back to my natural happy state.
For me that shortest path includes 2 things:
1. Allowing personal responsibility of others. That is, I believe each person is responsible for their own decisions, choices and behavior.
2. Accept personal responsibility of myself. By this I mean that I accept responsibility for how I choose to respond to the behaviors of others and my own behaviors.
I do not look to place blame or fault. I strive to for acceptance of what is and allowance for everyone to experience consequences of their own choices.
So what am I saying here?
I'm simply saying that it's very human to have an initial reaction to something that is less than ideal. That said, it's also wise to allow ourselves to quickly reconnect with your more evolved self and see the event through the lens of our consciously chosen beliefs.
I believe, happiness is our normal, natural, state. Anger, worry and regret do not improve the quality of our lives, they simply distract us, and keep us from experiencing how wonderful life is in the present.
Each day allows us many opportunities to see the dark, the worst in people; each day also provides us with at least as many opportunities to see the light, the best in people. This is the reality of our existence.
The beauty is that we each get to choose what were are going to focus on and our personal foreground. I have found that choosing to focus on the light does not make me naive, it makes me happy. I invite you to join me.