With every day that you wake up; with every circumstance that you face, every person you have an interaction with, you have the choice of two spirals.
You can spiral down – which means you react to the situation with fear, or shame, or anger, or frustration, or bitterness, and then you make a bad situation worse, or a passable situation bad, and the other person also reacts to negative with negative, and so you all become stuck and frozen, going from negative emotion to negative emotion, spiraling downwards only.
Or you can make the always better choice – and spiral upwards. You can choose to believe in the best intentions of other people, even if they don’t deserve the benefit. You can choose to accept the situation and practice non judgement. You can step away from the place if your emotions are getting the better of you (or stay there if you are forced to, for instance, if it’s your boss, but refuse to make the situation worse).
You can accept the fact that if the person knew better, the person would do better. You can believe deep in your heart that people are always trying to do their best, that the universe is always rooting for you, that you have everything that you need to respond in every situation. You can proceed with the knowledge that you always have control over your own reactions, and that you alone have the power to make things better or worse for yourself – and then you can react in love, with hope, with patience; and if you fail on all these, then with forgiveness, acceptance and doing better the next opportunity you get.
In every moment. you have the opportunity to make a choice.
I want to gently encourage you, and myself, to always choose the side of the spectrum that spirals things upwards, positively – for your peace of mind, and for the peace of those around you.
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Chude Jideonwo is host of the TV and radio network #WithChude, which is creating safe spaces for conversations about mental, emotional and spiritual health across Africa. He is also co-founder of human flourishing company, Joy, Inc.