Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Rain and a Soppy Disposition

It’s raining. In fact it has been raining most of the day. I’m from Arizona where rain is not a regular occurrence, so when I encounter a long bout of soppy weather I get a bit incredulous.

“You’ve been at this all day, don’t you think it’s time to move on?” I say to the clouds outside my window. Of course the rain doesn’t listen to me. It just keeps plink, plink, plinking on the roof, the patio and my muddy yard.

When we moved to the Pacific Northwest I knew we were in for some wet weather. I love the greenery here and I know it doesn’t get that way by accident. Yet, I’m annoyed. I keep looking for the sun and a rainbow that isn’t ready to appear - at least not yet.

Those of you who have lived in wet environments probably have no sympathy for my plight. This is not unusual. Most folks who have not suffered from a particular problem or situation do not have the ability to empathize. This is not limited to the weather. It is a rare person who has compassion for someone whose plight is unlike one from their own experience.

That is why I always find it interesting when I give talks about erasing negativity and someone invariably asks for advice on how to erase negativity in someone else.

The short answer for this is you cannot change the mindset of someone else. However, you have total control over your own thoughts, speech and actions. Even though most of us understand this, we still find ourselves wanting to change the horrible actions or behavior of someone else.

It’s like the conversation I’m having with the clouds. Say what I want, my opinion of the weather is not going to have any impact on the outcome. I can curse the clouds, sing a song of joy or go dancing naked in the streets. The rain is not going to stop until it’s good and ready.

So what is the point you ask? While we have total control over ourselves, we choose to have more thoughts, speech and actions condemning someone else. That attitude is a real joy sucker. My advice is to accept people for who they are. Sometimes that means staying the heck away from them. But waiting for them to change is as fruitless as cursing the rain.

Change yourself where you can and leave it at that. Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” The same is true of trying to change others.

With that in mind I’m going to stop complaining, suck it, put on my raincoat and umbrella and enjoy the afternoon. I may not be able to do anything about the weather, but I can do something about to encourage a sunnier disposition.

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