We wouldn’t dream of letting someone steal our cell phone. But all too often we allow people to steal our peace of mind and feeling good.
How does this theft happen?
Usually someone has an excess of feeling bad and wants to channel that to some unsuspecting and willing recipient. Here’s an example:
You are sitting quietly and someone comes up to you and criticizes you, your political party, your family, or some other aspect of your life where you are attached. You fight back! The game is on and back and forth it goes. But guess what? Usually in fighting back we get caught up in the whirlwind of negativity that previously was not ours but we now carry. After the interchange we go to someone else and tell them what a jackass that person was, we think in our heads how we are right.
At this point our peace of mind and our ability to be in the present moment has been stolen. We have been ripped off and we don’t even know it.
What to do?
Here’s an example of how Abe Lincoln handled this sort of thing:
I remember a story about Abe Lincoln attending a White House Christmas party when a notoriously nasty woman came up to him and asked him in the most insulting voice she could muster that “didn’t he think his legs were far too long?” Lincoln reportedly looked at her, smiled, and said “Actually madam I have always found them just the right length to reach the floor.” Everyone laughed and Lincoln strolled on to another group. He was able to completely negate her sour attack with humor. He left feeling good, and she left stuck in her own crap.
That is a great model for us. Remember, people who are trying to shame you are doing so because they are stuck in their own bitterness. Maintain your sanity and don’t eat what they are selling. Find your way to leave them to stew in it and don’t lose your peace of mind.
See if you can think of times that you may be allowing your peace to be stolen. Think of ways to use your strength to counter these situations.