If only the world behaved the way we want it to...

If only everyone did and said what we wanted them to! Wouldn't that make life easier? Well maybe easier, but not necessarily more fulfilling.

We cannot control anyone else's behavior. I'll repeat that because it's so convenient to forget. We cannot control any other person's behavior. Even when it seems like someone else is acting irrationally or being inconsiderate they are behaving from their reality. As much as we may convince them "rationally" to understand our reality, they only have their own reality.

This is not to say we shouldn't share our realities and how other's behavior impacts us. However, we can never alter another person's reality.

So as frustrating as this can be, it is our practice of compassion that allows us not to get caught up in the drama and negativity. And compassion allows us understand that the person causing us discomfort is probably experiencing something troubling themselves.

How do we have compassion for someone who is causing us angst? Stop. Take a breath. Listen to the other person. Listen a little more carefully. Then either let it go, or share your experience, without judgment.

If the other person is hurting or angry, they may not be able to hear your reality until their emotions are less heightened. So if this is the case, consider just listening for the moment and talking at a later point.

What would like be life without this kind of conflict? Would it really be better, or just smoother?