“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours. With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.” ~ Wayne W. Dyer
Isn’t this quote spot on? At any given moment in our lives we all have the opportunity to choose how to respond to the external events taking place, and our response will ultimately determine our fate. How can this be? How can we learn to actually ‘control’ the way we respond to others, specially when they appear to be acting angry, deceitful, or indifferent towards us?
Years ago when I was living in Los Angeles and studying acting, my acting coach at the time Millie Slavin would repeatedly tell us that if we wanted to be good actors we needed to understand that “you cannot negotiate human behavior”. By this she meant that people do what they do, because that’s just what they do, period. She would often joke, “the worm eats an apple because that’s just what they do, and the characters we play are just like worms.” The nugget she was trying to teach us was that, if we wanted to be good actors, we could not judge the characters we played, for whenever we judged ourselves we stopped being one with the character. How powerful is that?
Well, the exact same thing applies to all of our relationships! Every time you judge someone because they are not acting the way we want them to, we loose our connection, or oneness with them! So what is the solution then? Simply, let go of any expectations that people in your life should behave a certain way. And what about all the feelings of anger and other emotions that rise when we’re not being treated the way we want to? Simply sit with them, ALLOW them to be. Treat them as a gift from life that is telling you that there’s a greater lesson to be learned, and something deeper within yourself waiting to be healed.
The moment you release your judgement of others by releasing your expectations of them, and allow yourself to truly sit with all those unwanted emotions that come up for you, you start to develop the capacity to start ‘responding’ (instead of reacting) from a healthier part of your personality, one that is now beginning to take greater responsibility for yourself. This is the karma that Wayne Dyer talks about, and a skill I teach through my Heart Intelligence Coaching Program. From this place, you’ll be able to make decisions that will be in greater alignment with the kind of relationships you want to manifest in your life!