My comments after the story.
I walked with a friend to the newstand the other night and he baught a paper, thanking the newsie politely. The newsie didn’t even achnowledge it.
“A sullen fellow isn’t he?” I commented.
“Oh he’s that way every night,” shrugged my friend.
“Then why do you continue to be so polite to him?” I asked.
“Why not?” inquired my friend. “why should I let HIM decide how I’m going to act?”
As I thougt about this incident later, it occurred to me that the important word was “act”. My friend responds toward people; most of us REACT toward them.
He has a sense of inner balance which is lacking in most of us; he knows who he is, what he stands for, and how he should behave. He refuses to return rudeness for rdueness because he would no longer be in command of his own conduct.
Nobody is unhappier than the constant REACTOR. Their sense of self is not rooted inside themselves where it belongs, but in the world outside them. They allow outside influences to control them, and they, in turn, lose control.
REACTING may give them a feeling of satisfaction, but it is false because it does not last and it does not come from self-approval. Criticism depresses them more than it should because it confirms their own secretly shaky opinion of themselves. Snubs hurt them and the merest suspicion of unpopularity in any quarter rouses them to bitterness.
Peace of mind cannot be achieved until we become the master of our own actions and attitudes. To let another determine whether we shall be rude or gracious, elated or depressed, is to relinquish control over our own personalities. Utimately, our personalities are all we possess. The only true possession is self possession.
I recieved this story while in treatment for addiction and mental health concerns. This season has been as joyous as it is difficult for me. Decisions are damn hard to make. Speaking my mind is even harder. Being completely honest with myself has become a burden; all of which are directly influencing my choices â€“ reactions. Addiction is as real to me at this moment in time as it was one year ago and a year before thatâ€¦ It’s getting harder to say no. I’ve given in to myself twice. I have used twice. When is not important. Just the shame I feel in using and wanting more. I did not use GHB. I used Extasy.
The one choice that saved me this evening is love for myself and hope that the next choice I make will be for love of myself again, nothing else, nothing less.
Being honest with myself is the first step.