Peace With Others


Request More Information

Request More Information
Go to Content
Peace With Others

I am not your mother. There is freedom in that. I can care, advise or inform, and encourage your better angels. But in the end, I can’t be blamed or credited for your choices. I’m set free to let go of the illusion of control, to stop arguing, avoid manipulation, and side-step guilt. I can release the imaginary reins and live at peace alongside others (so long as they aren’t stealing, assaulting, or killing).

 

Minding our own business

We need to recognize when things are simply none of our own business. Though all things are connected, the choices of others are out of our control. We need to release our false grip on them.

Letting go of the illusion of control gives peace in a way that actual control never can. When we dominate others – toddlers, for example – we know that as soon as we turn our backs, our authority diminishes and often disappears altogether. Constant vigilance is exhausting both physically and emotionally. Of course, I’m not advocating for letting toddlers do as they please; I’m pointing out that, until the child is self-motivated to behave well, you will have no peace. That’s why there is a whole industry invested in producing products to childproof our homes, but there is no substitute for self-policing children.

Scary as it may sound, we must expect the adults around us to be self-policing. We can’t control them, and we would have no peace if we could. It may be one huge source of the stress we feel each day during our commute, in the workplace, at the shops, and even in the gym. We wish for control, not realizing that even if we could have it, we would not be happy with the result.

The running commentary in our minds is stressing us out. Behind our eyes, we are chewing out the one who slams on his brakes in traffic, shaming the office girl for showing too much cleavage, hurrying the butcher cutting our roast, or criticizing the squat form of the one next to us. We imagine that we could fix them all if they would only listen, but instead we are driving ourselves to an early grave on the road of stress.

Re-writing our inner dialog

What if we learned to see the others around us as lovable eccentrics? What if we imagined that a squirrel ran into the road, and the one in front of us slammed on his breaks to save it? Or if we realized that the girl with the low-cut blouse needs friends too? What if we were grateful for the butcher because we don’t want a bone saw in our kitchen? Or grateful for good trainers who taught us good form to save our knees into old age? Wouldn’t we be much happier this way? It’s not as if we can control these people anyway, so why not paint a happier, more hopeful picture of those around us?

Bob Heilig calls these red-light or green-light stories. We are making things up in our heads anyway, so why not make up kind stories like the squirrel or the lonely girl? Why not choose gratitude instead of scorn? The wait is the same either way, so why do we choose the path of stress? It isn’t as much a letting go – we have no control anyway – as a shift in perspective, a change in the narrative. It’s fun; give it a try.


Request More Information

Request Information Now!