Years ago I was introduced to an idea and given a challenge that revolved around 3 little words.
Are you sure?
I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember the name of the book or author and as of now, I am drawing a blank. I feel like it was Thich Nhat Hanh or Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche but I’ve scanned the books I have by both and can’t find what I’m looking for.
The idea is simple and has had a lasting effect on me.
When a situation arises and you feel that a person is not acting or reacting in the way that you expected it’s easy to feel upset, angry, frustrated, disappointed and even that they are purposely trying to hurt you.
Instead, the challenge asks you to stop and say to yourself…’Are you sure?’
Are you sure they were not listening to you? Are you sure they don’t care how you feel? Are you sure they said that snarky thing in a snarky way…like totally sure? Are you sure they think your idea is dumb? Are you sure they blew you off? Are you sure they were being passive aggressive? Are you sure they were talking behind your back? Are you sure they really did or didn’t do that thing that has you feeling all those yucky feelings?
This list goes on and on and on. There is no end to the amount of speculating you can do given any situation. Big or small.
But the question remains the same….
Are you sure?
First, we should be upfront and just ask the person if we can or are willing to. Be direct and just ask.
But if that is not an option, you can save yourself a lot of grief by simply asking yourself if you are sure.
I took the time to write the question out on some index cards and place them around my go-to spots. A gentle reminder to stop jumping to conclusions and possibly even give people the benefit of the doubt. (Imagine that?)
It also gives you a chance to feel how you feel and then think things through and possibly come out the other side thinking a little more rationally. I know that personally, I am quick to react to…well…everything. This helped me to take a step back and think things through.
This is not to say that you will never be absolutely sure that someone was in the wrong or treating you poorly and I am a huge supporter of standing up for yourself and your boundaries, but more often than not, when we present this question to ourselves we will find that we’re not always so sure and even better than that, that is just doesn’t matter all that much after all.
Thanks for reading~
This is my submission for #forgivingfridays.