One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is the ability to own your emotions and to allow others to own theirs.
There is a story that a holy man was walking through a village and was approached by a young man. The young man, an obvious malcontent, started screaming and calling the wise man a charlatan, a fake, a fraud and a variety of other names that don't bear repeating in private, much less public.
The wise man calmly replied to the young man, "You look hungry. I have food. Would you like to join me for lunch?"
The young man was completely dumbfounded. He was so shocked by the teacher's reply that he lost his anger and had to ask how the wise man could invite him to eat after the things he had called him.
To this, the holy man replied, "If you brought me a diamond and I didn't accept your gift, who would the stone belong to?"
"It would be mine," was the young man's reply, "If I had the stone and you would not take it, the diamond would remain mine."
"That is my first lesson for you," said the wise man. "Your anger was your own. I refused to accept it or to let it destroy the calmness of my life. My refusal stole your anger's power and it died, even in you. If I had accepted it and returned it in kind it would have only grown until it consumed both of us."
Emotions are one of the most powerful forces in human existence but it is only the power we give them that they truly possess.
That is the way emotions work. Whether love or hate, good or bad; when they are passed between people, they are empowered and grow. When refused, they lose their power, wither, and die.
Own your own emotions and allow others to own theirs. Only pass on those feelings that you want to see prosper in your life and refuse to accept from others those you wish to avoid. If you want love, be prepared to give it. If you disdain anger and drama, refuse to accept them. More than this though, be prepared to return love when someone is trying to give you their anger. It is not easy. But, by your refusal, you will rob that anger of its power and make the world a better, more loving place for them, yourself, and for all of us.
My challenge for you this week:
Focuses on your ability to control your emotions.
Be on the lookout for a situation in which someone responds to you in a negative way. This could be something they say to you or a particular behavior demonstrated toward you.
Once you experience the negative emotions associated with this situation, make an intentional effort to internally resist the other person's negative emotions.
During the encounter, quickly provide yourself with a positive affirmation that rejects their negative emotions. For example, say, "I have the right to refuse to accept their negative energy, opinion, and emotions."
Recognize that by following these steps you have asserted your power over your life, without outwardly defending yourself or entering into a negative and unproductive state of mind.