Every which way, there is a lesson to be learned if you’re ready to receive it. The other day I was in the supermarket, walking down the breakfast cereal isle. A mother was shopping with her son sitting in the cart and I happened to tune in mid-conversation.
“Mama, you ain’t the boss of me!”
I glanced over at the child, thinking to myself, “what a brat!” What this child said next was so profoundly deep, even in its simplicity, that it transformed him from a snotty little boy to a miniature Buddha- “You ain’t the boss of no one, only yourself!” Immediately, my scowl turned to awe as I looked at him, wondering if he knew the depth of the words he just spoke.
Regardless of if he meant it on a deeper level or not, the little boy’s words stuck with me for the rest of the day. He may have just been back-talking to his mother, refusing to do something she had asked him to or continuing to do something she asked him to stop, but the weight of those last words I heard him say stopped me in my tracks as if he were saying it for me to hear.
No matter what he meant by it, I interpreted his words as a simplistic version of the Serenity Prayer- a mantra I strive to live by.
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”
We can easily drive ourselves insane trying to conduct our worlds around us. We can get frustrated when things don’t go our way or when people don’t change to adapt to our likings. These frustrations will plague us forever, though, if we truly think we can control them- we can’t! The absolute only thing that we, as mortal beings, have control over is ourselves! Once we realize this ultimate truth and take responsibility for it, so much stress dissipates as the self-imposed weight of the world is lifted away.
It is empowering to know and claim control over yourself. Blame, anger, disappointment- all dissolve once the realization is made that the choice of how to react to something and how to handle it is claimed by you.
When I feel defeated and think that nothing will ever go my way, I reassess what is making me feel this way. More often than not, there is another angle from which to look at the situation in which I can reclaim control. I may not be powerful enough to control anyone else around me, but I sure do know that I harness the almighty power of controlling the things I do, the words I say and the way I react to my world around me.