The Golden Rule
Treat others as you would like to be treated. It is a very simple concept, yet we as the human race manage to bungle it up royally. For me, I get confused when I see people, myself included, sometimes acting out of our own fears or saying things aloud (from our negative self-talk), without really thinking what the consequences of our interactions will be with others if we choose to focus on the negative, rather than the positive aspect of the situation. I get confused, because the easiest way for me to understand the golden rule is by saying to myself, "God is Love." I say this to myself, because it's a quick KISS (Keep It Simple, Silly) to remind me to flip from the negative fear-based emotion, to a positive love-based one. And, if I can flip whatever it is I am thinking, doing or saying to the positive--then I will be following the golden rule, and responding to any given situation from a place of love(that's also where acceptance, forgiveness, encouragement, and understanding live).
So why don't we automatically treat others like we want to be treated? The simple answer is we don't think. We aren't putting ourselves in the other person's shoes. And if it is too hard to make that leap to trying to see how another person might be viewing the situation..., then we probably aren't treating ourselves with love in the first place. When we treat others with unconditional love, accepting them for who they are without judgment, we give both ourselves and others respect and space to grow. If, for example, we say, “Happy Holidays!” and someone’s response is “bah-Humbug!” It is okay. For whatever reason, they are not having a good day. It is not about you. There is no reason to get upset. If this someone’s response would have been, “you too!” or “Have a great day too!” Then, great! If you give someone a present whether it is your time, knowledge, or an actual present, then it is not a present if you expect something back in return. If you give freely, then it is a present, because you are giving with no expectations. Rather than get upset at someone else’s MIS-behavior, why not just treat them nicely in return. Isn’t that how you’d want to be treated (with patience, understanding, forgiveness), if you were having a not too hot day?
My wish is for us to treat both ourselves better, and others too. Our life here is so short, and it is filled with so many hardships as it is, why not send love out into the world rather than anything else. I am making a commitment to myself on those days when I wake up to choose to share my love with the world, rather than anything else. In practical terms it means when my hubby asks me just as I wake up how I slept, instead of focusing on the hair sticking up every which way, the not enough sleep aspect, or the fact I’m NOT a morning person…I’m going to choose to focus on those great dreams I had instead…and say, “Great! And the day will be wonderful too!” Peace and joy during the last few days before we can relax with family and friends over the holidays! So enJOY today, and share with others how you'd like to be loved yourself!
This post first appeared on my blog: A Lifetime to Love--Sharing Unconditional Love