"It isn't about me or you and how we feel. It is about recognizing that other people give us the life we live. Without them, we are nothing. There are no self-made men or women. Those who try to be, who think they are are the small people, confined into the narrow world of their own perception."
~Ed Brenegar, author of the Leading Questions weblog
My friend and fellow blogger, Ed Brenegar wrote this on his Thanksgiving day blog for his Leading Questions weblog. The whole post is really good so I encourage you to read it, but this one paragraph really hit home for me. So often we spend countless hours and enormous energy thinking about how we feel. We blow things well out of proportion to the actual event and inflict further pain on ourselves in the re-thinking.
Feeling is subjective and is only really true for us to the limit that we are able to truly be honest with ourselves at the time. Have you ever noticed that the impact of an event seems to grow in intensity as we relive the event over and over in the telling and re-telling. Then, all of a sudden, it dissipates and a week later you may be hard pressed to remember what you were so miserable about to begin with.
Other people, and our reaction to them really do give us the life we live. If we receive others with trust, understanding and acceptance, chances are we'll get that from them, along with gratitude, respect and support. If we meet others with sketicism, disdain and resentment, they won't waste their best on us.
There are times I notice that someone who seems to have little feeling or concern for other, appears to have it all. They may be in a position of power, may have wealth and possessions; the easy life. It may seem unfair and you wonder why they are so lucky. But, do they really have what counts? The things that live in the heart and soul and can never be taken away? To experience the love, respect and gratitude of others throughout life is the real reward and the true wealth. To know that you've made a positive difference in someone's life, contributed some amount of good to the world and lived in peace with others is not vulnerable to the winds of fate or the uncertainty of economy. Once you have it, it's yours, long after the events or even people have passed from your daily life.
Love and gratitude are the true reward and the most pleasurable reality. Work every day to make love and gratitude a part of your life. Understand that your relationships are dependant on both if they are to be good, supportive and long-lasting. Realize that you're not in this life alone and reach out to lend a hand whenever you can, and to take a hand when you need one. Do others the honor of allowing them to be of help to you, too.