I recently received a very mean text message from a blocked number. This person told me their exact thoughts on my actions during my divorce. It was a very short message, but it was hurtful and rude.

This immediately got my blood pumping and I became quite angry. How dare they, I thought. Who is this person to tell me what kind of person I am?

I ripped off a scathing text message in reply telling them to keep their mouth shut about things of which they know nothing. I hit send and felt self-righteous for a few minutes. I felt like I’d won some battle and shown them who’s boss.

But then that anger started to creep in again and it was starting to affect my behavior. I was driving home and I could tell by my aggressiveness that these emotions were controlling me.

At that moment of realization, I saw how I was acting. I became aware of the fact that I had let this anonymous person have the power. I gave them control of myself and I immediately regretted it.

I then started to reclaim my power. As angry as I was, I smiled. Just that simple act of forcing my muscles into a shape that is greatly associated with happiness calmed me down a bit. Then I started talking to myself.

I told myself that I am in control of my emotions. That anonymous person accomplished exactly what they wanted because I responded wildly. I said aloud that I don’t have to convince anyone else of the correctness of what I’ve done and I wasn’t responsible for making anybody else feel better about the situation. I can’t control other people, but I can control myself.

With that little pep talk, I was able to calm down a bit and go forward in a positive manner. I don’t know who sent me that text. I’m fairly certain my reply never actually got sent. I do know that I learned a great lesson in responding to difficult situations:

You can’t control everything about a situation. Control yourself, and you maintain the balance and power in your life.

I urge you to think about how you respond to certain situations. Do you give the other person the power? Or do you acknowledge their feelings and then respond in a controlled manner? Never let anybody dictate how you feel. Control what you can, and let the rest go by.