Most People Don’t Give A Shit (And That’s A Good Thing!)
When in pain, it may seem like others just flat-out don’t care.
Good news: they don’t!
Uhhh…how is that good news?
It’s not that others don’t think they care.
Most of us see ourselves as authentically compassionate, authentically empathetic, authentically…well, authentic.
But are we?
When you pick up any self-help book, listen to any motivational tape, or get fired up by the words of a motivational speaker…whose voice are you hearing?
The author’s or speaker’s, obviously.
But here’s the thing…
What you’re actually hearing is an amalgam of their upbringing, training, life experiences, anything and everything they’d ever read or heard or seen or were told by parents, friends, teachers, loved ones, advertisements, radio DJs, TV pundits, mentors, lobbyists, politicians, hippie types who detest all of the above…
…you get the idea.
Good news is, you need not take my word for it!
When you meditate, tune in to the cacophony of thoughts in your head.
- To whom do these thoughts belong?
- Where do they originate?
- Are any of them truly mine?
Next, focus on the thoughts and opinions you’ve always considered your own. These include positive thoughts (“I’m destined to be a great scientist someday!”) and negative ones (“I am utterly worthless and will never amount to anything“).
- Examine each one.
- Trace its origins.
- Weigh it on a scale.
- Hold it up to the light, turning it this way and that.
Is it truly, authentically yours?
…did it drift into your awareness from elsewhere, got pulled into your orbit, and eventually passed for your own?
So, so much of what we believe, of what leads us to think and feel and act and pass for autonomous human beings…isn’t even ours!
Ok, you might now say, letting out an exasperated sigh. You’ve made your self-serving, long-winded spiel. Why did you claim that all of this was a GOOD thing?
Here it is:
- If what drives others to treat you as they do is inauthentic, you need never take it personally. The insults they hurl at you aren’t truly theirs. Tragically, few of them ever realize this. This may fill your heart with compassion towards them, even as you take a firm stand against their behavior.
- If others may seem not to fully get your pain, it’s because they don’t. How can they, if they don’t fully get themselves? “Their” advice isn’t truly theirs. This, too, may make your heart well up with compassion.
If all that others think, say and do isn’t truly theirs…
…then you need never let ANY of it define you.
That is why it’s a good thing.