some years ago, when i first heard the concept "no on can make you feel anything you don't already want to feel" i thought "you don't know the people in my world".
since then i've learned it's actually pretty easy to find the beauty in each little thing around us when we stop taking every unpleasant thing so personally and quit trying to find ways to be offended.
you might ask "how can i not be offended if something is offensive? isn't being offended a natural reaction?"
the simple answer is; yes it is, but there is more to be considered.
our automatic mind, specifically our built-in self-preservation mechanism, constantly seeks to judge everything we come in contact with, assessing whether it's harmful or safe then providing us with an emotional response appropriate for that assessment (not a bad thing when we are in danger, it can save our lives).
taking offense to situations or the behaviors of others is actually the work of this very automatic part of our psyche, which often appears to us in a milder form as a judgement of right or wrong and subsequently, the sense of being offended. the problem is that most of the time we're offended, the judgement is unnecessary, we're not currently in danger.
our mind often takes a position of "i'm right, they're wrong" to feel less threatened when there never really was a threat. this automatic judgmental threat management is a fear-driven function. it can become out of proportion and cause us to recede into a somewhat detached world of moral superiority, leaving the ability to experience beauty outside.
the solution? awareness.
simply be aware of your reactions to the people, places and things you come in contact with. notice how often you find offense with the world around you, and how infrequently you are in real danger.
many of us are in the habit of being offended when we encounter something outside our comfort zone.
when this happens, ask yourself directly "am i really in danger right now?". most of the time, you'll find you are not. simply noticing our fear driven reactions usually decreases them dramatically, often bringing calm balance within reach. it gets easier with practice.
seeking present moment awareness can bring to light our own habit of frequently taking offense to new and different ideas simply because they're new and different. noticing this habit allows it to naturally dissipate, removing a self-induced distraction from the beauty that surrounds us always.
when we are actively engaged in noticing, we are able to intercede on our own behalf.
the more we get out of our own way, the better our human experience becomes.