With the ever increasing stresses of the world we may find ourselves obsessing about things and people that are beyond our control. The fact is the only person I can change is the one in the mirror. What others do and say is their business and all I can do is keep my side of the street clean. When I keep doing the next right thing my life becomes more manageable. A quote by Ghandi that my son sent to me a few years ago reads “Be the change you want to see in the world”. When I personally made good changes in my own life others seemed to change around me and when I let go of resentment and past hurt it truly set me free. When I forgive it doesn’t change my past, it changes my future. It also does not mean I condone the other party’s behaviour or that I need to keep them in my space. When I forgive it sets a prisoner free, only to find that the prisoner was me.
Obsessing about others and being hateful doesn’t take away yesterday’s problems, It takes away today’s happiness.
I have edited, and love, the below article sent to me about detachment by another counselor – Author unknown.
One day my son brought a gerbil home to live with us. We put it in a cage. Some time later the gerbil escaped. for the next six months the animal ran wild and frightened through the house. So did we – chasing it.
“There it is. GET IT!!! was screamed every time we saw it. We would all throw down what we were doing, race across the house and lunge at it trying to catch the elusive beast. Even when I did not see it, it terrorised me emotionally. I can’t have this creature running loose around my house and I must do something NOW!
This tiny creature incapable of any harm had the entire household in a spin.
One day sitting in my lounge I watched the little guy scurry down the passage and I started to chased it once again but then decided to stop myself and let go. If he want’s to live in the nooks and crannies of my house then so be it. I am done chasing it. It may not be normal to me but so be it.
From then on the he ran past me and although uncomfortable for a while I stuck to my guns and let it happen. I then became more comfortable with my new response and actually found huge peace in it. After a few weeks it ran by me again and I barely even looked at it. This time it stopped next to me and waited. I gently picked it up and placed it in it’s cage where he has lived very happily ever since.
The moral of the story is do not lunge at your gerbil. He is already frightened and chasing him scares him more and makes me crazy.
Detachment works. I love the saying “Not my circus and not my monkeys”. I may be free to make any choice I like but I am not free from the consequences. I wrote of the 90/10 principle in a previous article which explains that 10% of how I feel is due to what life dished me out today, 90% of how I feel is my response to that 10%.
The serenity prayer helps me here. “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Now I will have a great day because I choose to. You have a great day too – I insist.