Goal: Allow others to be as they are, without judgment.
One thing that has come up quite a bit recently is the art of allowing—the ability to observe others and their actions, free of judgment. In my own experience, I have watched others become tormented by someone who would not change or who was acting in a self-disruptive manner. We drive ourselves mad by trying to change them. The art of allowing teaches us that we can only control ourselves; we can never control others. But, we can control the way people make us feel. They have no power over us. We feel badly about the situation only because we let them make us feel badly. All we can do is follow our hearts and hope that our peers and loved ones will follow their own.
From my own experience, as I was growing up, my parents attempted to impart a healthy diet upon me. This may come as a shock, but I actually have an incredible sweet tooth. I would sneak candy in my room, grab a bagel with peanut butter and a dunkaccino on my way to high school in the morning, and rarely would a day go by that I would not have dessert. My parents tried many things—they would keep sweets out of the house, barter with me to workout in return for french fries, and send me to nutritionists. With each new method, I became more resistant. I rebelled. I could not detach myself from the sugar and the satisfaction, so I battled with adolescent weight and emotions for a long time.
However, in time, through my athletics and other pursuits, I realized that I had to make a change. I was fast and fit to a point, but there was a whole other level that I had not yet reached. All of a sudden, I found that inspiration that I have talked about before. I wanted to be the best athlete I could be, and achieve many other physical goals. I cut out carbs, I followed a strict eating plan, I was able to refuse dessert and go to bed early…and I achieved my goals.
My parents wanted something for me, and they could not impart their beliefs on me. Through some guidance and observation, plus a burning inner desire, I was able to discover the means myself. Now, I have reached an entirely new extreme. It is easy for me to eat cleanly and healthy.
Ultimately, the best we can do is take care of ourselves, and hope that others see the changes we have made and try to emulate them for their best interest. I always say, they have to find the inspiration within themselves. So, give them a break, and save yourself some frustration. Focus on being the very best you that you can be, no matter the form. Work on your desires for your own life, and you will find that others come along with you without your prodding. Allow others to be as they are, without judgment.
Go with the flow…