“A man is made up of several different factors: what he has inherited from his parents; what he has picked up from his surroundings; what he has brought over from previous reincarnations; what he thinks, feels and does; what his reactions are to other people. It is the combination of all these elements which make one man.” Paul Brunton

This is a huge question which I am sure I will come back to again and again because it fascinates me. Indulge me while I think aloud.

We have no control over the DNA soup which we inherit, and until we gain enough self-awareness to understand why we do what we do, we have no control over the way our childhood influences us. Some people grow up in terrible circumstances and turn into loving, positive adults. Others grow up in solid, loving homes and become selfish, cold, even abusive, adults.

I won’t address what we bring from previous reincarnations today although it has a lot to do with the challenges we face in the present life.

What we can control is what we think, feel, and do. This, I believe, is the true meaning of free will. We can choose to think destructive or negative thoughts, or we can shut them down as soon as we realize the direction our thoughts are taking.

We can ALWAYS choose our actions. Always. Unless someone is holding a gun to your head you always have the choice of action you take. And even then you can choose.

I know some of you are ready to argue that you can’t help how you feel, but I disagree. It takes effort, sometimes a lot of effort, to change your feelings. You have to look inside yourself without fear, you have to be willing to admit to your weaknesses and fears before you can change your feelings.

In every instance the negative feelings are tied up with our egos. We like to feel that we’re right, that “they” are wrong. That we know better. That we see the truth while the other person has blinders on. Perhaps they do. Perhaps they aren’t ready to see the truth because they have to work through the situation from where they’re at—from their unique mix of DNA, environment, and previous reincarnations. What good does it do to harbor negative feelings toward them?

Nobody will ever completely see eye to eye with you because no two souls are exactly alike. Don’t get angry or frustrated by that. Say your piece and let it go. When they’re ready they will hear it.

What we habitually think and feel eventually become actions—become what we say and do.

What kind of human are you? What do you want to be? Watch your thoughts. Watch your feelings. Your actions will follow.