I think the quality that has brought me to where I am today is willingness. I have noticed that the people that complain most about their circumstances are often the ones who are least willing to do anything about it, or even to look at their circumstances from a different point of view.
Because I am willing, I see things that I do that don’t work and then I am able to do something about it. For example, I used to get my feelings hurt very easily. When I realized that my internal reaction to another person’s words was upset, I chose to notice it, feel it, and not react right away. Don’t misunderstand, I was not suppressing my feelings, but simply slowing my behavioral response time. This was very difficult in the beginning. My thoughts ran wild. Sometimes I would cycle between hurt and anger multiple times in just a few minutes. It was exhausting! I paid close attention to the thoughts running around in my head, and realized that the other person (who I had labeled the offender) wasn’t even aware of the turmoil I was experiencing. Over time I learned to say something (with kindness) if it needed to be said or to let it go if it wasn’t necessary.
I could write extensively on this topic, but my point today is simply to note that it was my willingness to see my own “defect of character” that enabled me to change. It was my willingness to look at a situation from from the other person’s point of view that helped me realize that the other person wasn’t intentionally trying to hurt me (and even if they were, I had a choice whether to be hurt or not). It was my willingness to change that helped me see an alternative to my reaction. I am now responsible for my feelings and respond appropriately… not 100% of the time, but certainly more often than not. And I am still sensitive. The difference is that now I own it and don’t blame others for it.