I am…

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I am not smarter than anyone else.  I am no more capable or special than any other human being. My needs and wants are no more important. My opinions are no more valid. My problems are no bigger and my ideas no greater than those of anyone else. I have tried no harder and suffered no more than anyone.  My life is not perfect nor was it ever promised to be. I deserve nothing more than anyone else. I am no stronger or braver or wiser or wittier than those around me. I have no deeper right to happiness or wealth or peace.  I have earned no more accolades and conquered no more ground. I am nothing more than those who came before, those who share this time with me or those who will come after.

I spend too much of my time being angry and frustrated over the failures of others. This is a direct result of my feelings of superiority and this is not okay. I do not get to rage and roar over someone else’s mistakes. I do not get to rub their errors in their faces as though I’ve never been there myself. I do not get to subtly shame or explicitly expose other for their missteps.  Other people are entitled to their weaknesses and failures just as I am. When faced with the mistakes of others I can either work toward helping them fix the problem or I can let it go. Resentment and indignant blustering do nothing to remedy the situation. They only amplify the negative feelings in myself, those who made the mistake and those who are near us.

When I feel anger and frustration washing over me it is my personal responsibility to identify the true emotion driving it and address it. It is my responsibility to find a productive way to move forward instead of throwing myself down in the middle of the metaphorical grocery aisle to kick my feet like a toddler. It is my job to identify unfix-able mistakes and walk away from them with greater understanding instead of lashing them to my breast with chains of judgement and indignation. I am the only person who can control my emotional response to events in my life and when I fail to make good emotional choices, I am the one who will have to face the consequences of those poor choices. My emotional health is something I can control.

Anger and frustration, anxiety and fear are valid emotions but they are not valid platforms on which to stand. When I find myself in an unhealthy emotional response it is important for me to evaluate the situation, identify the potential futures and keep moving toward a healthier choice.

I have what it takes to be emotionally healthy. I am capable of controlling my negative feelings enough that I can channel them and manipulate them into something beneficial. I am strong enough to walk away from pointless battles. I am strong enough to remain calm and loving in frustrating situations. I am strong enough to move myself away from negative and toward positive. I am strong enough to accept that I won’t always be right, that I won’t always be in charge, that I won’t always get what I want or like what I get. I am strong enough to constantly improve on myself. I am strong enough to admit when I have failed and accept the suggestions of those who know more than I do. I am strong enough to ask for help when I need it. I am strong enough to observe my own behavior honestly and make changes when I find it lacking. I am strong enough to allow myself to change my opinions as new information appears. I am strong enough to allow new experiences to mold me into something even stronger.

I am no better than anyone else.

I have no right to judge. I have no right to behave poorly.

I am responsible for my own emotional growth.

I am strong enough to turn the person I am into the person I want to be.

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