Day 61: Circumstance

We often blame people, things and circumstance for our attitude and reactions.This is simply untrue.We are responsible for our attitude and reactions to anything that is thrown at us.Think of all the circumstances that you have been through within the last several days.How many of these did you control your emotions and reactions?

It is common for human beings to react when something happens. The mind immediately clings to anything that changes or fluctuates. We do, however, have the ability to control what that reaction is. There is no involuntary actions that can be placed into your reactions physically and/or verbally.

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When Tommy wanted to by a car, he wanted the best car that his money could buy. Knowing that getting a vehicle also means the chance for an accident. Four days after Tommy bought his beautiful red Corvette Convertible, a teenager was texting and driving and ran through a stop sign. Tommy was upset but considering he still had his life, he was ok. The teenager was also ok physically. Tommy’s feelings didn’t interfere with his compassion towards the teen and his wellbeing.

This example is a perfect example of not letting your mind be in control of your reactions. He took ownership of his mind when we showed compassion to the teenager that completely totaled his Convertible. He didn’t scold him but rather asked if he was ok. It is possible to show your love even when something has happened to you. Understanding the nature of the vehicle is also important. Tommy knew that buying a vehicle would also mean that it would needs maintenance and would probably be in an accident or two. Knowing that, he wasn’t attached to the vehicle and was able to separate his emotions from the circumstance.

Being able to separate yourself from the circumstance and choose our own reaction and attitude will prove to be an amazing way to live. I had the rare chance to meet Shirley Phelps, the wife of Fred Phelps with Westboro Baptist Church. I could have had a horrible counter-protest spewing our hate to combat their negative and hateful speech but instead I made it a goal to hug this woman. I got to hug her and she told me, ‘Go obey God!’ I told her, ‘Everyday!’ I will never forget this experience because in the face of hate I got the opportunity to show love. What is more important than that?