How many times have you sent an email, text or made a phone call in a fury of emotion and then immediately start questioning yourself. Did you say the right thing? Did you get your point across? Were you too mean? Negative emotions behind words is what causes us to ask these questions. If I’m confronted with an event that causes me a negative response and I immediately retaliate, the words that I email or say cannot be taken back. And most of the times after I’ve said or sent them no matter how rational they are I immediately begin to second guess myself. I start questioning whether or not I got my message across. I begin to stress about whether or not I said the right thing. If I could just remember to calm down first, withstand the need for instant gratification and wait until my negativity towards the person has subsided completely, I would successfully respond in a neutral, loving or compassionate way. Maybe I end up using the exact same words I would have used if I were worked up. The difference is that I now know I said them with a clear mind and can stand behind my words and not question them. Checking our emotions before responding is not only for the other person’s wellbeing it’s for our own peace of mind too.
The basic idea is that every outcome you experience in life (whether it’s success or failure, wealth or poverty, wellness or illness, intimacy or estrangement, joy or frustration) is the result of how you have responded to an earlier event in your life. Likewise, if you want to change the results you get in the future, you must change how you respond to events in your life … starting today.