Lately I've been hearing a lot of grumbling about being MADE to do things. My kids complain when I make them clean their rooms or make them finish their homework. And I expect this - I did my fair share of grumbling when I was a kid too!
But more disturbing to me is the attitude that one can make another feel a certain way. You make me feel angry, you make me feel sad, you make me feel guilty. (And no - these aren't coming from my kids!)
It is really shocking how little responsibility we sometimes take for our own thoughts and feelings! As Eleanor Roosevelt reminds us "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission" (italics mine). And its so true.
We all can relate to having that person (or persons) who seem to rub us the wrong way. They have a way of saying things that is offensive, gets under our skin or hits a little too close to home. I still struggle sometimes with people like this. I still bite my tongue to keep from lashing out - I don't know if I will ever will really stop letting their words and actions affect me!
My friend Carla always reminds me - it is only 10% what happens to us in this life but 90% how we respond. This has been put to the test for me in some real and painfully devastating ways in the last couple of years - with my mom's cancer - with my struggle to accept loved ones choices - with the abuse of my sweet, sweet, little boy (and the long and painful aftermath). But I do know that I CHOOSE MY FEELINGS. I CHOOSE HOW MUCH I LET IT AFFECT ME. I CHOOSE HOW I RESPOND. No one else chooses for me - no one makes me feel anything. Not anger, resentment, inferiority or guilt.
It really is how we perceive and believe what happens around us - the snide comments, the grating gossip, the nasty emails, the pointed looks, the annoying habits. And while Ms. Roosevelt gave us something to consider - here is one I like even more:
"It is done unto you as you believe." - Matthew 9:29