Quote Therapy: 7 February 2013

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“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.” -Haim Ginott
Reading this I thought of Hamlet's admonishment of Polonius, "Use every man after his desert, and who shall 'scape whipping? Use them after your own honour and dignity. The less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty. Take them in."

We would all be much better off if we took Shakespeare's advice.

It is empowering to realize that I am the decisive element in every single area of my life. Even areas in which I have no control.  I make the weather in all my relationships and endeavors.

No matter what individuals or forces are working with or against me, it is my choice to react with anger or joy or relief, to go with the flow, refuse, withhold, accept, compromise, concede, or hold my ground. 

I am incredibly stubborn. I am also an optimist. And an extreme perfectionist. This combination has not always worked to my advantage. It is almost impossible for me to give up on someone or something, or to just say "good enough" or "done," even if I know it is in my best self interest. Truth is, I always think things will turn out for the best. And they do, just not as I envisioned.

Sometimes cutting that Gordian knot, leaving a marriage, a job, switching careers, saying goodbye to friends, ideas, possessions, addresses, ideas of how life is or should be, is for the very best.

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