We can’t always choose the music life plays for us but…

We don’t always have control over what happens but we do have control over our thoughts, reactions and emotions. Most of the time our emotions and reactions take us by surprise. Often they are confusing and make us react in ways that we don’t like. They pass away quickly or sometimes stay for a long time, thus leaving us in a bad mood.

The key question we can ask ourselves is am I managing my emotions? Or are my emotions managing me?

Sometime back I had read a very good article with 7 Strategies Emotionally Intelligent People Use to Keep Their Feelings Under Control

The strategies above definitely help, however the one thing that helps me is what St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, mentions in the Spiritual Exercises

It should be presupposed that every good Christian ought to be more eager to put a good interpretation on a neighbor’s statement than to condemn it. Further, if he cannot interpret it favorably, one should ask how the other means it. If that meaning is wrong, one should correct the person with love; and if this is not enough, one should search out every appropriate means through which, by understanding the statement in a good way, it may be saved (SE 22).

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Putting a positive interpretation to a statement or situation will help you react to it in a better way. For example, if you had to meet a friend at a given time and your friend is late, if you start saying “He/She is always late…never on time”, you automatically start feeling negative and get more agitated and irritable. However if you start saying things like “maybe something important cropped up” or “he/she may be finding it hard to get an Uber”, then you will be less angry and more sympathetic when your friend does reach.

Each of us our fighting our own battles and we may not understand why a person is behaving in a particular way. Putting a positive interpretation to their actions and words will definitely help you react to situations in a better way and will also help the other person in many ways.

Here’s to you choosing to dance to the music life plays for you today! 🙂

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