When your best advice isn’t welcome

“A man’s weakness and strength, purity and impurity, are his own and not another man’s. They are brought about by himself and not by another; and they can only be altered by himself, never by another. His condition is also his own, and not another man’s. His sufferings and his happiness are evolved from within.” – As A Man Thinketh

How often it is we find ourselves attempting to change someone else’s life. Usually it’s someone close to us — someone we hold near and dear like a spouse, a child or a sibling. Our intentions are generally good and aimed at making life better for someone we care about.

But, oh, how next to impossible it is to control someone else’s life. And so painful!! Wayne Dyer writes that most of our suffering in relationships is tied to the failure of other people to meet our expectations; of them failing to do what we think is right for them (or that satisfies us).

I have been helping my 16-year-old, who will be a high school senior this year, plan for college. My experience and knowledge suggests a path for him that I think best utilizes his talents and gifts. But it is not a path that he wants to pursue — and no amount of persuasion on my part will change that. It is frustrating — and somewhat painful — for me to deal with that. As parents, we always want the best for our children — at least what we think is best.

However, I must allow my son to go down the path he has chosen, with full knowledge that “his condition is his own, and not another man’s.” And that ultimately “his sufferings and his happiness are evolved from within.” While I can offer him advice, my best help will be by becoming the best example I can be of James Allen’s teachings.

We can directly measure our progress down our path by how detached we can become when the direction of another’s life conflicts with what we think is best for them. When we can act with the assurance that they must follow their own path just as we must follow ours, we will have taken a great leap in our personal growth.

Should we have high expectations of those who are close to us? Absolutely! As Denis Waitley says, “Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You may not get what you want, but in the long run you will get what you expect.” So how do we handle it when others don’t do as we’d like? In the words of Wayne Dyer, “love them for what they choose to be regardless of your opinion about what they choose.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

No excuses

Some people make excuses for their circumstances. Others, like Ryan Belflower, succeed in spite of them.

If you enjoyed the movie Rudy or the movie Radio, this true story of a courageous 18-year-old may move you to tears. Ryan Belflower is not just a special education student, he’s a very special person indeed.

Attracting peace

“To dwell day by day in thoughts of peace toward every creature will bring abounding peace to their possessor.” As A Man Thinketh

This may be the hardest of all principles for me to practice on a daily basis. It seems those days that don’t get off on the right foot sometimes get worse and worse. First, there’s a technical problem with one of your websites and people can’t access it. Then your phone system is knocked out by lightning for the third time in a year. It wasn’t Mother Nature that I had the harmful thoughts toward, it was the local phone company who didn’t want to send out a technician on my schedule. And on, and on.

In the end, it was me who was harmed by the thoughts I directed at these faceless and innocent victims. Whether by the Law of Attraction or the Law of Sowing and Reaping, it is impossible to give without getting in return – when you give out thoughts of anger, frustration or ill will, they are certain to be returned to you.

I love this quote from John Kanary’s book Breaking Through Limitations:

“If I knew you and you knew me,
and each of us could clearly see,
the meaning of your heart and mine,
I’m sure that we would differ less,
we’d clasp our hands in friendliness,
if I knew you and you knew me.”

As John says, we’re a whole lot more alike than we are different. The same wants, needs, loves and hurts. Truly understanding that will help us to dwell in thoughts of peace towards others.

In Above Life’s Turmoil, one of the books of the James Allen Trilogy, Allen writes, “The man who thinks hateful thoughts brings hatred upon himself. The man who thinks loving thoughts is loved…The man who sows wrong thoughts and deeds, and prays that God will bless him, is in the position of a farmer who, having sown tares, asks God to bring forth for him a harvest of wheat. He who would be blest, let him scatter blessings. He who would be happy, let him consider the happiness of others.”

And that’s worth thinking about.