It is futile to expect people to live by your values or rise up to your standards of efficiency. So just be and let be.
Earlier this week someone pinged me asking for my time to interview me for their channel. This was the second time that this channel was approaching me. The first time I had given them an appointment, no one showed up. So, this time, I requested the lady who called me to ensure that such a boo-boo does not happen. The interview was tentatively penciled in for Sunday (today) noon. But when no confirmation or communication came forth from the channel, for two days since the request was made, I proactively wrote to the young lady late last evening saying I did not appreciate the way they were treating me – that too, a second, consecutive time. I said if they are still keen to interview, I needed to be assured of their intent, commitment and efficiency before I even accepted their invitation. The lady, of course, got back apologizing profusely. An attempt is now underway to seek me out a third – hopefully successful – time for the interview.
Last evening after I got off a WhatsApp exchange with the lady, I thought to myself that I seem to have indeed evolved over the years. And that gave me a huge sense of inner peace.
Just a decade ago, I would have been hurt and I would have been angry. I would have shredded the channel and expressed my disgust in a very loud, sharp and scathing manner. But Life is a great teacher. And I guess I am working on being a good learner.
I have understood that there are only two ways of dealing with situations and people that don’t meet your expectations. One is to fight them, in an effort to change the situation or convince the people involved to see your point of view. And the other is to simply accept things and people for what they are, communicate your displeasure unequivocally, and keep moving on. I used to fight what I thought was the good fight for the longest time – trying to change stubborn situations and people. I have never really been successful with either. What I realize is that getting angry and frustrated always left me drained and seething with negativity. Worse, the negativity would fester in me for much longer after an outburst or showdown. I loathed that feeling. I disliked me in those times. Soon I discovered two truths – one, situations that are not in your control cannot be changed or turned around by you and two, people that let you down often do so only because they believe they are right in what they are doing. So what is the point in being angry with either such situations or people? I have employed this learning, this awakening, in Life ever since, and it has worked beautifully for me.
Basically, you must only work to protect your inner peace. You and only you are responsible for your inner peace. If someone is trying to ride roughshod over you for whatever reason – out of their inefficiencies, or circumstances or insensitivity – politely tell them that you don’t appreciate the way you are being treated. And move on. Don’t preach. Don’t rant. Don’t try to change them. Protect your inner peace. Period. If something, an event, a situation is causing you discomfort, and pain, try to move away. For example, if you are in a job, working with colleagues that you don’t get along with, work on changing your job. If you can’t change your job, accept your reality for what it is, the way it is, and stop complaining. Almost instantaneously your inner peace will be restored. Now, at least a lousy job situation can be changed over time. But what about a critical health challenge or the death of someone you love? There are situations in Life which are non-reversible, unchangeable. Complaining and grieving then is of no use. Only acceptance of what is can help you anchor in peace.
I have also understood that every person you know on this planet is going through their own Life situations. How they interact with the world around them – that includes you – has a lot to do with what they are experiencing in Life and how they are feeling within them. There is almost always no conspiracy against you in particular. If you stop imagining the conspiracy theory, there will be no more villains in your Life’s story. Then, everyone is a fellow voyager. Everyone is struggling, stumbling, falling, getting up and clutching on to their metaphorical last straws – just as you are! So, help them if you can by letting them be. And help yourself by just being and protecting your inner peace – because, no one else ever will!