I came across this quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe today, and I think it captures the sentiment I have come to (albeit reluctantly) over the years that in the end, how I experience my life and my relationships is ultimately up to me.
“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”
Sometimes it is so seductive to blame other people or society at large for our problems or things that make us miserable, and it’s not that we aren’t impacted by things other people do or situations that are beyond our control. However, we can control how we respond and exercise choice about our own behavior which can be kind of annoying (sometimes it is much easier to turn a blind eye to what we are contributing to a situation), but can be amazingly empowering too. I wish you all the courage to exercise your choices to be the person you want to be!