February 14

“Seek not that the things which happen should happen as you wish; but wish the things which happen to be as they are, and you will have a tranquil flow of life.” – Epictetus

Relationships. They are a part of life. They are the part of life that makes life worth living. But relationships are two sided ordeal and we are going to be let down and we could allow ourselves to be frustrated nearly as often as we feel uplifted and supported by our relationships. We all have our own agendas and aspirations and while these often match up with those around us, they do not always.

The best safeguard of our own happiness is to not try to control the other people in our relationships. Don’t try to force them to behave or be the way we think they should be. Instead, we should do our best everyday to accept them as they are and remind ourselves why we value the relationship in the first place.

It turns out that the only one who really suffers when we let the way people act, talk, eat, or work to get under our skin, is us. Trying to change the way another person does anything is a futile and hurtful exercise. Instead, we should focus on addressing our own shortcoming, which is our response to their behavior. If the behavior needs to be changed, we should show them gently and they should be able to see and augment their behavior accordingly. If they can not see, it is because we are not showing them clearly enough.

Focus on what we can control, our reaction to the way things happen. Accept that the way things happen is outside our control and we should accept and appreciate things the way they are. By doing this, we can find peace and happiness. In fact, this is the only way.

virtus fortis vocat

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