Vail perspective: Who really makes you mad? |

Vail perspective: Who really makes you mad?

Catherine Zeeb
Vail, CO Colorado

Can another human being make you mad? Can someone who is irritated make you get as irritated? Can a person who is doing something unethical make you do an unethical act as well? Absolutely not!

I know you probably want to argue this point with me. You want to explain what he or she did to you and that what they did made you mad. You will try to convince me that you weren’t mad before they did what they did but then things just kept escalating and you had no choice. You will continue to try and convince me that you’re not a “mad” kind of person, but you just didn’t have a choice in the matter.

From a metaphysical and psychological point of view, no one can make you mad. You choose to get mad. They cannot step into your head or soul and actually make you mad. You, in all instances, choose how you react.

So think about this for a minute. The last time someone said or did something that you reacted to with anger, did you yell at them? Blame them? Accuse them without facts? Intimidate them? Remember that no matter what someone else does, you have the choice of your reaction.

Most of us are not taught in school or by our parents, one, that we can choose our reactions, and, two, how to choose our reactions. Our parents probably reacted, so we have learned to react as well. So much of life comes at us and we feel we need to be on the defense most of the time. Do we?

Decide that you are going to pay attention, say for one week, to all the things that are not important; things you don’t need to react to. If it’s truly important, take care of it. If it’s not, let it go – move on and move forward.

Choosing how to react to any situation takes awareness or consciousness. Recognize how you would normally react and then choose to respond differently. This is the first step. Once you see that every situation does not require your participation, you will experience freedom; freedom of the demands that constant reaction and drama brings.

Control is the main issue here. Can we let go of control? We believe we can control everyone and everything around us. Even if we think what someone is doing is not right, we try to control their behavior. This is one way we attach ourselves to other’s “stuff.” Is it truly your business? Is it really up to you to change them or their behavior? Or can you choose to step away and not let it affect you?

Of course, if we see an injustice, a wrong in the world, we need to speak up or act. Learning when to react and when not to is not about being a doormat by allowing bad things to happen to or around us. It is all about choice. Choose what is your business to be involved with. Choose what drama you want in your life on a daily basis.

We’re full enough with our own drama and mind chatter. Attaching to other’s “stuff” is distraction from doing our own work. Every situation, every challenge and every obstacle in life shows up for us to ask ourselves who we really are. A person who comes to us in anger may show up to test our ability to see if we can not attach to it and let go of it. Sometimes we are tested in our ability to make the best choice for our life – to let it go, move on and move forward.

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