One of the great temptations of life is to run other people’s lives for them. It’s a great distraction from running your own.
Have you noticed how parents like to tell their children how to live their lives, even when they’re adults with children of their own?
Most of the time you don’t even realize you’re doing it. Other times you do it on purpose – with the best of intentions, of course. After all, you do know what’s best, don’t you?
The truth is you don’t know what’s best for another. It often takes a lifetime of inner work to discover what is best for yourself.
The flip side is you often let other people run your life - whether it’s a spouse, a parent, a priest, some politician or the gossip down the street – or, more likely these days, on social media or talkback radio.
Part of taking responsibility for your life is allowing others to take responsibility for their business while you attend to yours.
That doesn’t mean that as parents of young children you let them do as they please, but it does mean that as your children grow and mature you need to transfer the responsibility for how they live their lives gradually over to them.
Not always easy but essential. At some point, though, you need to be like the birds and push them out of the nest.
How someone chooses to behave is not your business. What you choose to do about it - that’s your business. That’s the part you are responsible for.
When we aren’t running other people’s lives, we often devote our energy to solving the problems of the world or complaining about things we have no influence over – activities which provide distraction or avoidance from the realities of our lives.
Attending to your business, instead of trying to run the world, is actually a lot less stressful than worrying about things you have no control over.
Funny thing is though, when you stop trying to run other people’s lives, they seem to do a good job of living them on their own, and you start enjoying your own life more.
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