Life is a story, and it’s not all about you; therefore, realize that there are millions of competing stories going on at once.
You see yourself as a hero in your own story, but so does each person in the grocery store. Who are you in their story? You’re just background color. Perhaps you’re even a petty annoyance. You’re not usually the big shot.
My son, when you feel overwhelmed by a trouble, calm yourself down by changing the perspective of your story. Instead of thinking of this incident as its own drama, with yourself as the misunderstood hero, think about this as happening while millions of others are experiencing illness, death, birth, hunger, and many other much more important troubles than yours. Deal with it, do the right thing, but don’t inflate the issue.
My self, I know how difficult it is to step back and get perspective on my own situations. But that doesn’t make it less effective or less needful. Don’t get disillusioned nor be hardened. Don’t get a bad attitude about needing to take a deep breath and shift my focus; be humble enough to stop thinking about myself.
Life is a story, and it’s not all about you; therefore, pay attention to what sort of character you are in other people’s biographies.
Who do you want to be in their story? Use that question to determine your response. It is what you speak and how you speak to others that makes you a friend or foe, a help or hindrance, an ally or a villain. How you actually treat others is more important that what you think you are like.
My son, to be a friend to others, you must be kind to them. To be a hero to them, you must think of their needs first. It is harder than it seems like it will be, but it is worth it.
My self, if you love your children, you will be loving to them. It’s harder than it seems it should be, but it’s not complicated: Love is patient and kind, it is not irritable or resentful. If I do not love my children, in action and in truth, I am the wicked stepmother in their story, no matter what I’d rather tell myself.
Life is a story, and it’s not all about you; therefore, think of others’ stories before your own.
How can you respond so that conflicts resolve toward a happy ending for both their story and yours?
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
When you think about finding a solution to a problem, do not think about yourself alone. You are not the only one involved. What response can you make that is right for you and helpful for them? That doesn’t mean always giving people whatever they want, but it means not being grabby or rude or harsh.
My son, this is called a “win-win solution.” One way to win is to help others win, and to find your happiness in helping them.
My self, it is not in the children’s interests for life to be made easy for them, but neither is it in their interest for all decisions to be made according to my own preference and convenience.