This week’s QUOTE FOR ANXIETY
‘Character isn’t inherited. One builds it daily by the way one thinks and acts, thought by thought, action by action. If one lets fear or hate or anger take possession of the mind, they become self-forged chains.‘ Helen Gahagan Douglas
Helen Gahagan Douglas (1900-1980) began her professional career on the Broadway stage and was regarded as a “star” at the age twenty-two. By the 1930s, she moved to California with her husband, Hollywood actor Melvyn Douglas. There she soon found herself involved in politics and was elected Democratic National Committeewoman from California in 1944. For the rest of her life, she remained a tireless public speaker and activist.
Douglas gets to the core of how character is developed with this quote of hers. You can’t blame your genes for your character. Actually if you do, you become a victim and develop a victim mentality. ‘I can’t help it …. that’s the way I’m made ..’ is the cry of a victim mentality.
I love hearing about people who have succeeded despite the odds being stacked against them. Our thoughts direct our mood and our behavior. If you have a victim mentality, you will have ‘victim’ behavior. Our character is developed by choosing ‘right actions’. Fear, hate and anger keep us in the past and keep one a victim, chained to the past. The only way to move forward is through forgiveness, letting go of hurts and anger. The person who hurt us has forgotten what they did that offended us, while we hang on to the hurts and stew in the pain through not forgiving. And fears? You’ve got to face them as it’s avoidance that keeps a person anxious.
Forgive and move on, that’s the way to build good character. Carefully watch your thoughts and discard any that keep you miserable.