As children, most of us have heard the adage, “Treat others as you would wish to be treated.” As we grow and begin to live our lives by our own desires and needs, some continue to keep in mind that karma has a funny way of presenting itself to us when we least expect it – good or bad. But when it comes right down to whether or not we decide to act on this initial life lesson of The Golden Rule, emotions tend to determine our actions.
It is in the managing of our emotions that ultimately will lead to a more fulfilling and stronger life.
This past weekend I had a very spontaneous conversation with one of my readers on this very issue, and we discussed it through our experience with animals – horses, to be more precise. As a young child, I had the opportunity to become an equestrian rider in both western and English and competed until my late teens. Throughout the course of this time, only two horses were my trusted steeds – Alamo and Foxy Flossie (they will forever be in my heart, I must mention them, I apologize.)
What I learned from this childhood opportunity was the expression of our true emotions is something that without monitoring can have unexpected results. If the rider is nervous, the horse senses it and exhibits challenging behaviors, but if the rider is confident, the horse is well aware of who is control and can produce amazing performances.
Let me now share an example from my professional life. As high school teacher, there unfortunately have been a handful of tragic incidents that have occurred during my tenure, and while dealing with teenagers who immediately feed off the energy around them, as most of them are at a point in their lives where monitoring emotions is something that they haven’t had a lot of practice with, the teacher immediately has an effect to either comfort or agitate their pupils.
The same is true for parenting, whether you are a teacher in the classroom or a parent at home, children feed off and respond to the emotions that are present around them. If a teacher, or a parent in a trying situation, is able to calming settle things, focus on what can be done and manage their own emotions effectively, the environment around them will be positively affected. The reverse is also true.
I am by no means saying hide your emotions. I wholeheartedly believe in expressing your emotions but through means that are healthy – exercise, journaling, therapy, a chat or over coffee – and do so when the time is appropriate. Understanding these two steps when it comes to emotions I believe is the difference between growing up and simply be called an adult. The former is an choice, an action, and the other is just a fact of physiology and legality.
To bring this concept to our every day lives, have you ever noticed that when you are having a good day, those around you tend to be friendlier? Or, when your day is completely off kilter, things just never seem to change throughout the course of the day? While yes, some things may be out of your control, I can’t help but believe that it all comes back to the energy we put out into the world.
Whether or not you believe in karma, treating the people you see, live with,work with, run into, and are pampered by with genuine kindness, a brightening smile and a sincere compliment when deserved won’t hurt anybody.