If we accept being talked to any kind of a way, then we are telling ourselves we are not quite worth the best. Maya Angelou

A story is told of a Zen master who was a great and legendary samurai warrior. He eventually settled down in a small mountain village where students still came to him to receive his teachings and insights. One day, a young arrogant warrior, wanting to prove himself superior to the old ways, journeyed a great distance looking for this master teacher. Along the way he boasted of his skills and conquests upon unassuming bystanders, and eventually found his way to the monastery to challenge the former samurai so he too could be added to his list of conquests. He tried everything to provoke the old guy into a fight. He hurled insults, rocks, and eventually even spit on him. But being true to the way of spirit, the Zen master warrior didn’t respond to this childish behavior. The arrogant youth, humiliated by the lack of response, left the town by the end of the day.

Many of the old samurai’s students questioned their master as to why he didn’t engage with the youngster and show him that people shouldn’t be treated that way? To this he responded simply, “If someone offers you a gift and you don’t accept it, who does the gift belong to?” “To the giver, of course,” the students replied. “The same is true when people throw their emotions at you, whether they are in the form of anger, hate, or insults,” said the master. “When you do not accept them, they remain with the one who’s holding them.”

Spiritual Contemplation: Have you taken on emotional trash that isn’t yours when it was thrown your way? When have you let other people’s emotional garbage remain with them, and how did it feel to walk away clean? Where in your life are you being challenged to embrace other people’s toxic emotions? What are you going to do about that?

Affirmation: I accept only the gifts that bless my life!

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