Do you feel like you live in a constant state of turmoil? Do the people around you stress you out? Does it feel like there is always someone who is saying or doing something to hurt, offend, or mistreated you in some way?
It may surprise you to learn that you can take control of those seemingly out-of-control people and situations.
When I began to practice the following principles, my life changed dramatically. My life isn’t perfect, but it’s infinitely better than it used to be. Try using these principles yourself, and you may be amazed at the changes you see.
1. BE PATIENT. This is easy to do when times are good; but when times are difficult, patience becomes a choice. Decide now to be patient with people in your life when they act like knuckleheads.
2. BE KIND. Think of how kind you are to someone for whom you feel sympathy. Be kinder than that to other people in your life—especially those who do not deserve your kindness. With this simple rule, you can literally change your world.
3. DON’T BE ARROGANT, BOASTFUL, OR RUDE. No explanation needed.
4. DON’T BE JEALOUS OR ENVIOUS OF OTHERS OR THEIR POSSESSIONS. Be happy for the success of others and trust that good things are in your future.
5. DON’T DEMAND THAT YOU GET YOUR WAY. Be willing to do what others want to do, to watch television programs that others want to watch, or to take a route that you think is “the long way” whenever someone else is driving. Choose your battles and understand that most things aren’t worth arguing about.
6. DON’T BE DIFFICULT. You may have every reason in the world to be irritable; but just because you’re in physical, emotional, or financial pain, doesn’t make it OK to take it out on those around you. Making others around you suffer, is a choice. Don’t do it.
7. IGNORE PERCEIVED INSULTS. When you hear a comment that appears hurtful to you, either use your ability to “selectively hear” (tune out) or assume that the other person didn’t intend to harm you. Look beyond what is said or done to find out what’s going on with the other person. Bad behavior or negative words are indicative of some underlying fear or hurt.
8. BE QUICK TO FORGIVE. Forgiveness by definition is giving mercy to someone who doesn’t deserve it. Forgive even when you think you’re right because this demonstrates in a meaningful way that you value the other person more than you value being right.
9. BELIEVE THE BEST; GIVE THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. If someone says something unkind about someone you care about, defend him or her. And never allow the negative words or opinions of someone else to influence the way you feel about the people you care about.
10. BE LONG-SUFFERING. What does this mean? It sounds awful, but it’s an important part of keeping peace in your life! It means putting up with the people in your life when they aren’t behaving well.
We can eliminate a lot of the drama that we live with and the pain that accompanies it if we will show kindness to everyone, including the people who don't mean to hurt us, but do, and [this is the hard part] the jerks, jokers, and jackasses who intentionally try to harm us.
Love isn’t only a feeling that you have for others. It’s that, but it is so much more. Love is measured by your actions toward others in your everyday life. Being kind, patient, merciful, and long-suffering never fails to [eventually] create an atmosphere of peace. Start today to do your part to create peace around you and watch your life change for the better.