A few weeks ago, I got into an elevator not noticing the stairs were opened and accessible for me. I was on the 8th floor and needed to get to the 5th floor, as I got out on the 5th floor, an irritated man yelled, “You know, you could’ve taken the stairs!”
Of course, I was unable to answer quickly enough and was left feeling irritated. One, because I had not noticed that the stairs were in fact opened – and two, because I don’t consider myself a lazy person and I wanted so desperately to tell that man that I wasn’t being lazy! And did it really kill him to have to wait one minute more to get to his destination?! The irritation turned into anger, an anger that lingered through my day. “What if I was in some kind of pain and couldn’t go down the stairs?” I asked myself, “The nerve of that man!” And so on my thought process went and went and went….
The encounter however got me thinking about five important things:
1) I shouldn’t take things personal
2) I shouldn’t care what people think (who cares if he assumed I was being lazy!)
3) Words matter so much! Just one word or even a string of words can cause a ripple in one’s day. There is power in our words. We must therefore use them wisely.
4) The mind can really do a number on you if you allow it to, and the only person that suffered was ME because the guy probably went on about his day without an ounce of thought for me.
5) I wasn’t taking the time to get myself centered.
Not to say that I’m perfect and always walking around in pure bliss however I do try my hardest to not be mean to others during those times I’m wrapped up in my own frustration. I try to not say things that may hurt others. Was I being too sensitive? Maybe, but It does not disqualify the fact that WORDS affect others, perhaps even more than a physical slap in the face. Maybe my example is a silly one however I am sure people encounter more extreme examples of these interactions all the time. It is difficult to maintain evenness of thoughts and words int the world today…. trust me I know this, but at the very least be mindful that Words are damaging. Know that everyone has their own struggles, so if possible refrain from saying things that are unnecessary. Think then speak.
Most importantly the mind can really do a number on you if you allow it to But How does one navigate ones environment without allowing someone else’s words not to get you mad, sad or angry? Such a difficult thing. We can’t control others! BUT we can most definitely control ourselves and our responses to these little daily quirks.
- Don’t take things personal
- Chose to be mindful of your own words during your interactions with others
- Do mini meditations during routine activities such as counting your steps as you walk, paying attention to your breath, or listening to mantras on your head phones
- Get centered, focus on your feet and the top of your head by imagining that your body is in between two poles, north and south.