We are experiencing a time of unprecedented differing opinions. Opinions range on topics from the upcoming election to the pandemic to home schooling.
It is a tough time, but it doesn’t have to be.
How do you respond when someone doesn’t have the same opinion as you? Do you get frustrated that they don’t think the same as you? Do you get angry? Do you get upset? If you do, what do you think all of that frustration and anger might be doing to your body, soul and mind?
Could you take a step back, for your health and well being, and look at these opinions differently? Opinions may be important but that’s not what we’re actually talking about today.
We are talking about what your response to an opposing opinion and what it is doing to you, emotionally, mentally and physically. I know some people who have lost friendships and relationships, have higher blood pressure and have quit jobs because the stress is too much.
Want to make the world a better place?
“The way you help heal the world is you start with your own family.” ~Mother Teresa
Begin with making your heart a happier and more accepting place? How do you even begin?
We can do this with ice cream.
I’m not talking about grabbing a spoon and a carton and sitting down on the couch, albeit that is one path. I want to talk about your favorite flavor of ice cream.
My favorite flavor of ice cream is chocolate. What’s yours?
It might be salted caramel (a close 2nd to chocolate for me), strawberry, mint chip, or even vanilla.
What do you do when you go to ice cream with a loved one? You often hold onto your coveted ice cream, take a bite and bask in the deliciousness of your treat. At some point, you may take a taste of the other person’s ice cream. More often than not, you are so glad that you chose your flavor. You might even be happy to have tasted the other person’s flavor so you have an even greater appreciation for yours. There is no discussion on why that person is right or wrong about their ice cream choice, it is simply their ice cream choice and you prefer a different one.
Once and awhile, we end up with ice cream envy and covet the other person’s ice cream. What happens then? We choose differently the next time we go to ice cream and we choose their flavor.
No one’s angry. No one’s frustrated. There is just delicious ice cream being enjoyed.
Can you make all the other opinions in your life as simple as ice cream? Can you make a shift this week and allow others to have their opinion on something more than ice cream? Why let another person’s opinion disturb your day or your week? If you want to make this world a better place, make room for another. You can share your opinion but listen to your friend’s opinion too and take it with as much levity as you would tasting their ice cream.
Besides, when you walk into your favorite childhood ice cream shop, do you ask for a new flavor or the one you’ve always loved and enjoyed?
You choose your favorite.
If it’s that hard to change your opinion on a favorite ice cream flavor, think about how hard it will be to change someone else’s opinion on something with far greater significance to you and to them. Is it really worth your health, energy and wellbeing?
How would you really get someone to choose your flavor anyway?
Show them, with your actions, how incredible and amazing your ice cream tastes that they want it for themselves. Inspire them to choose differently.
Don’t order for them.
Join me for this week’s mindfulness talk, How to Handle people with different opinions, as we journey towards a new way to handle these tough conversations so you can feel blessed, not burdened, by the differing opinions in your life.