Self-control is one of the greatest skills I’ve learned.
Most of us assume we have mastered self-control by now. And perhaps we have. A good test is to monitor how we respond to a nagging spouse or a disrespectful postman or vile-mouthed teenager. Do instances such as these make us angry or resentful? If so, we aren’t exerting adequate self-control. Letting another’s behavior, no matter how petty, disturb our inner peace means we aren’t in control of ourselves. But we can be. There is still time to learn how, and most of us have all the time we need.
Why is self-control so valuable? Getting agitated feels good sometimes. We may think it’s superior to boredom. But in truth, losing control of our emotions means we are always in the control of someone else. That too often means we are on a rollercoaster of ups and downs that exhaust us. Illness can even result. Another benefit of self-control is that we can lessen the turmoil around us, rather than add to it. The impact of any action or thought or quiet response is never ending. It’s quite analogous to the pebble skipped across the pond. We are making subtle contributions to the world around us whether we are conscious of it or not. Let’s be more careful of our input.
I will consider my input in all situations carefully today. What someone else does need not determine my actions.
You are reading from the book:
Keepers of the Wisdom by Karen Casey
Keepers of the Wisdom. Copyright 1996 by Karen Casey. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of Hazelden.