Be Well Be Happy

Recently I witnessed a bartender listening, with a smile on his face, to several tirades of a guest, whose every other word was the F-word. Just the way he talked. And everything bothered him, obviously because he kept on using the word. This one said this and that one did that and on and on. The bartender listened, smiled, said a word or two and moved on. I asked the bartender why the guy talked like that and wasn’t he offended by his manner and language. The bartender said with a smile, “It takes all kinds. I have the filters.” 

I’ve been thinking about what he said. If we don’t immediately make a judgment relating to a person’s negative behavior, we have a better chance of understanding the source and finding ways of dealing with it. When it is an occurrence with someone we really do not know and a one-time meeting, that is easy. We can do what the bartender did: smile, accept the person and put an inner filter to work, so as not to take in something negative or offensive.

When it is a person in our lives, however, that is different. “It takes all kinds,” may be harder to accept. Acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with or believing in, it is a matter of creating a balanced, peaceful space where things can be dealt with in an easier way. And gaining a perspective: Is that really important? Is it the small stuff? Can I accept certain behavior and do my best to be an example? 

Some things we cannot change.

Some things we can change and have to find the courage to do so.

Sometimes we need to understand the difference between what we can change and what we cannot change. 

“It takes all kinds” thinking brings us to looking beyond the evident, looking beyond the apparent, looking beyond. Most often there is no evil there, maybe insecurity, unawareness, non-openness, defensiveness, whatever from whenever in someone’s life that caused certain behavior that is sometimes hard to take. If it really is not life threatening or detrimental to someone else’s well-being, why don’t we just let it go? 

We can. Perhaps first find an objective listener to whom you can vent—letting it out before letting it go! Really. Often, letting out with passionate, feeling words, whatever it is about the person, can often alleviate the holding of all the objections you may have.  So let it out, then let it go. You may have to repeat several times to yourself, “let it go.”  It does take all kinds, and sometimes we do have to filter to get through a work shift or a long day or a minor conflict at home, taking a kind stance. In the end, we are the better for it; we are not agitated by someone else’s words or actions, we are more peaceful, thereby, balanced and happy.  

May you be happy. May you be free. May you be grateful. May you let go of things that do not serve you. May you have inner peace. 

 (This is a reprint of a column that first ran in May, 2017).

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