Recently I had an opportunity to “practice what I preach” so to speak. Someone that I personally know, was intentionally setting out to try to “make me” feel bad about something. And while I’m not going to go into the personal matter here, I will say…initially I did, I mean feel bad. I read the email and I could feel my face get red, my ears burn and my pulse race. I read the email again and the nastiness washed over me like a terrible hot bath … of I don’t know what.
I spent about 30 minutes, writing than rewriting a reply to the email. I listed and relisted all of the reasons I was right, and the nastiness was not called for… The more I wrote, the worse I felt. I was angry and mad and frustrated at their lack of understanding.
Then I deleted it all, and took a deep breath. I realized that those replies were all about me “accepting” what this person had written and accepting their power to make me react without thinking.
The power of mindfulness is really in being able to pay attention to what you’re thinking.
Your thoughts –> Emotions
Emotions –> Action
Action –> Results
Mindfulness is about understanding your present moment. What you are experiencing right now and with intentional thinking it allows you to take back your life. You are not a victim of circumstance, you are the author of your life. You are in control of how you think about the things you think about.
In fact, because I gave myself those moments of thought I remembered something that I had recently read, and I’m going to share it with you now.
The Gift of the Insult
There once lived a great warrior. Though quite old, he still was able to defeat any challenger. His reputation extended far and wide throughout the land and many students gathered to study under him.
One day an infamous young warrior arrived at the village. He was determined to be the first man to defeat the great master. Along with his strength, he had an uncanny ability to spot and exploit any weakness in an opponent.
He would wait for his opponent to make the first move, thus revealing a weakness, and then would strike with merciless force and lightning speed. No one had ever lasted with him in a match beyond the first move.
Much against the advice of his concerned students, the old master gladly accepted the young warrior’s challenge. As the two squared off for battle, the young warrior began to hurl insults at the old master. He threw dirt and spit in his face.
For hours he verbally assaulted him with every curse and insult known to mankind. But the old warrior merely stood there motionless and calm. Finally, the young warrior exhausted himself. Knowing he was defeated, he left feeling shamed.
Somewhat disappointed that he did not fight the insolent youth, the students gathered around the old master and questioned him. “How could you endure such an indignity? How did you drive him away?”
“If someone comes to give you a gift and you do not receive it,” the master replied, “to whom does the gift belong?”
If someone gives you a gift, and you don’t accept it. Who does the gift belong to? Yes, of course, the person who tried to give it to you. I wasn’t refusing the gift to “get back” at anyone, I simply refused the gift and let it go back where it came from. I don’t have those things.
I get to choose which gifts I will accept.
Have an amazing day.