One Hundred Fifteen: Check Yourself

“If you conquer yourself, then you conquer the world.”  – Paulo Coelho

Friday, April 25th

Someone told me recently to watch for the things I react the most strongly to in others, as it is likely that those are the very things that I need to address in myself. This little self-help tidbit frustrates me to no end. Isn’t it possible to see traits in others that we just don’t like or agree with?

I’m talking about people all the time. In my head, with my husband, or with friends. That’s what we do as social creatures, right? We evaluate others’ behavior, ideas, and actions and measure them against our own. Then we aggregate in groups based on that knowledge, more or less. It’s a weird thing to pay closer attention to my Monkey Mind; I hear some revealing things in that ongoing self talk. She’s overreacting. He doesn’t know how to talk to adults. In that 45 minute conversation, he didn’t let me get a word in edgewise.

I am working towards acknowledging and deflecting the emotions that I do not want to take into my being. I remember the negative things I’ve said or heard throughout the day but less often remember the positive things. The negative has a staying power like tree sap. The more you try to rub it off, the more it spreads. I’m learning that silence is often the best response when I am faced with negativity. It gives me the quiet moment to let it go and reminds the other person that I may not want to engage in this line of thinking.

I’ve noticed recently that a couple of people have left a moment of silence after I’ve gone on a rant. Oh, my negativity is rubbing off on others too. Yep, we’re transferring energy back and forth with one another constantly. It compelled me to start a thread on social media about replacing the multitude of negative headlines with our own good news of what we’re doing to make this world better. And people joined in and ran with it. It has been an act of positivity that keeps sending ripples out as the days pass.

Do you check yourself? 




3 thoughts on “One Hundred Fifteen: Check Yourself

  1. Kyna says:

    This particular comment sticks with me, too.

  2. Kyna says:

    I’ve also heard that we react most strongly to things we need to attend to ourselves, and that thought pops up for me regularly. I catch myself angrily and impatiently telling my daughter to calm down. Ha! Where’s the modeling? I love the positive headline idea. Earlier this week I challenged my kids to tattle on one another for doing things right. (The only tattling I really want to hear.) No takers, yet. So I guess that means I should start myself, right?

    • Emotional regulation is HARD regardless of what age you are. And when we get around to noticing the nice things, it can feel like we’re self congratulating…the balance is tough to strike.

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