One time, while discussing how to keep our peace of mind no matter what in a Tongue Fu!® workshop, I put up a power point slide with “No one can make you unhappy or upset without your consent” … an adaptation of Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote “No one can make you FEEL INFERIOR without your consent.”
A gruff construction boss stood up in the back of the ballroom and said, “Sam, you’re pulling a Pollyanna with this one. You have no idea the kind of people I work with. Do you mean if someone’s YELLING at me, that’s not supposed to make me mad?”
A woman raised her hand and said, “I agree with this because I’ve lived through it.
I’m a surgical nurse. I work with a neurosurgeon who’s a bully. He’s the most abrasive individual I’ve ever met. He’s a brilliant physician, he has zip people skills.
Last year, I was a fraction of a second late handing him an instrument in surgery. He berated me in front of my peers. He humiliated me in front of the team. It took all my professionalism just to continue with the operation and not walk out.
On the drive home, I kept thinking about what he had done. The more I re-lived it, the more upset I got. When I got home, I sat down at the dinner table, told my husband what happened and said, ‘That doctor makes me so MAD.’
My husband had heard this before. He said, ‘Judy, what time is it?’
‘What time did this happen?’
‘9 o’clock this morning.’
He said, ‘Judy, is it the doctor who’s making you mad?’
And with that, he got up and left the table.
I sat there and thought about it.
I realized, it wasn’t the doctor who was making me mad. The doctor wasn’t even in the room.
I was the one who had given him a ride home in my car.
I was the one who had set him a place at my dinner table.
I decided that never again was that doctor welcome in my home or in my head. I was no longer going to give him the power to poison my personal life. From then on, that doctor was staying at the hospital and never again was I going to allow him to ruin my precious time with my family.”
Who do YOU take home with you?
Who do you give a ride to in your car?
Who do you set a place for at your dinner table?
Can you decide, right now, that person is no longer welcome in your home or head?
Can you get really clear that you are no longer going to give that person the power to poison your personal life?
From now on, can you leave that person at work (or wherever you encountered him/her) and never again allow him/her to ruin your previous time with your loved ones?
Our quality of life is directly proportionate to who and what we give our attention to.
Our peace of mind is in our mental hands.
There are many people who choose to show up with integrity, who choose to add value.
There are many things right with our world, many blessings for which to be grateful.
If we want a life where the light is on in our eyes, let’s give our attention to the blessings, not the burdens, to what’s right with the world vs. what’s wrong. Let’s choose to focus on the people who act with compassion and treat others with respect, not on those who don’t.