There is a story that goes something like . . .
Once upon a time there was a man who always felt insulted by people around him. This man went to visit a very wise man and told the wise man all about this problem that he had.
He told the wise man how easily he was insulted by the people around him and how it hurt him when people said bad things to him or about him.
The wise man then asked the man a question that went something along the lines of ‘if someone gives you a gift and you don’t accept the gift, who does the gift belong to?’
The man was thoroughly confused and conveyed this to the wise man.
The wise man tried again saying, ‘if someone gives you a gift and you accept the gift, who does it belong to’?
‘Well it belongs to me’, said the man ‘if it was given to me, then it belongs to me.’
‘So’, said the wise man, ‘if someone gives you a gift and you don’t accept that gift, who then does the gift belong to?’
‘Then’ the man replied, ‘the gift still belongs to the person who is giving it to me’.
‘So there’s your answer’, said the wise man, ‘if someone insults you and you don’t accept the insult from the giver, then the insult still belongs to the giver.’
As usual it’s about choice and how we choose to react to issues and other people’s stuff!
I am often amused at the reaction of people when I say that ‘other peoples opinion of me is none of my business’! Believe me when I say it, because it is something that I really believe and quite frankly I really don’t give a continental . . . well, I’m sure that you understand exactly what I mean.
That said, I still seem to get angry when people have disparaging remarks to say about the people that I love. Clearly, that too is my choice and it is something that I will need to look at and process once way or another.
It’s also often about negativity. I have spent most of the year listening to people moan and groan about the economy, the government, taxes, non-paying clients, the recession (insert anything you like here) and most of the time their comments have irritated me because of what I saw as ‘their’ choice of actions and yet I am doing exactly the same thing when I get annoyed by other people’s remarks about those that I love. Instead of rejecting their ‘gift’ of insults or disparaging remarks, I buy into them and react negatively. Clearly that has to change.
Now it is much easier to say than it is actually to do, but that said change can only happen if it starts with me. I cannot just sit here on my rear end and command that things change. The change starts with me and in order for it to start, I have to be aware of what the choices are that I am making. So for me, it is one of those times that I do the ‘note to self’ thing and this article is clearly, my ‘note to self’.
So starting from today – insults will no longer be accepted by me? What about you? Will you still be accepting the ‘gift’ of insults?