FIND OTHER PEOPLES’ OPINIONS ANNOYING?
The other day, I received a call from a colleague. It was during the week around 9:30am, and I was still in bed.
“Kia ora!” I answered, with a slightly raspy voice (in our mother tongue for “hello!”).
“Are you just getting up?!” my colleague laughed, somewhat mockingly.
As fleeting as it was, that interaction irritated me. Was that a gentle dig for violating some kind of code about being in bed at this hour?
GET OUTTA THERE, QUICK!
And then, as fast as the annoyance appeared, I had an epiphany:
“Sorry if I sound a bit croaky,” I replied, “but you’re the first person I’ve spoken to all morning, and my throat’s just warming up.”
“I’m still journaling all the ideas I’ve had from my meditation,” I continued. “I do my ‘meds’ every morning, and I make sure I write down as much as I can from them. Actually, come to think of it, it’s probably the most creative and productive part of my day. I reckon everyone should start their day this way!”
“Oh…”, I heard her say a bit more subdued on the other end.
“Heck: is that the time?" I exclaimed. Anyway…how can I help?”
I had realized I’d interpreted her communication in a particular way, as being judgemental of me, and I’d allowed her opinion to have significance and affect my thoughts and feelings about myself. For a moment, I actually started to feel a tinge of guilt and shame setting in – like I’d been caught doing something wrong!
Fortunately for me, just moments after the negative thoughts began coalescing, a little voice in my head interrupted: “Hey: Snap out of it! Your morning routine is your business; you know its value – it works very well for you in fact. So who cares what others think?”
“Yeah!” I thought. “What’s that about, anyway? How did you fall into that old trap?”
GRATITUDE, EMPATHY AND FORGIVENESS – THAT’S THE KEY
And with that powerful reminder, I felt an almost instantaneous shift inside, and in a blink of an eye ‘the truth’ became very clear to me: How lucky am I that I have the freedom to get up with the natural rhythms of my body (instead of an alarm clock); that I have the luxury of time to make a quality connection with the Universe’s infinite love and wisdom; to nurture my spirit, energize my body and mind, and receive awesome insights, inspiration and other data ‘downloads’ every morning to help me through my day? Even more: I have a warm, comfy bed; a roof over my head; people who love me; work I enjoy; food in my pantry; a car to get me from A to B; I have my health and my mental faculties…Man, I’ve got so much to be thankful for.
Plus, for all I knew, she would love to have my freedom (the daily 9-5 can be such a grind sometimes – and I wasn’t bound by it like she apparently was that day); or maybe she had pressures and stresses I wasn’t aware of. In a flash I saw I actually knew very little about what was going on with her, so I wasn’t in any position to judge either: how ridiculous, then, was it of me to let some story in my head get the better of me? And at that point, I was able to let go of my irritation – it just evaporated, like it never happened.
DON’T RESIST IT – RE-FOCUS
But, it did happen. And what’s more, it’ll certainly happen again.
Yes, in Life we often allow other’s judgments and opinions to affect us so negatively. But rather than beating up on ourselves for reacting to other people from our Ego like that, the important thing is that we learn how to shift our perspective as quickly as possible and re-focus on something more constructive.
There’s a mountain of information and advice on the subject of how to re-train your mind, form new natural responses and more empowering thinking habits. And a great deal of it is freely available! I’ve been researching the subject in one form or another, and applying what I’ve learned, for years. One never attains perfection, but then what would there be left to do if one was perfect!
If you’re learning and evolving, you’re moving in a good direction. And if you’re happy in your own skin, confident of who you are and comfortably expressing your own beautiful unique Self in the process, even better – because your uniqueness adds to a diverse world, and diversity doesn’t just enhance life but is required for the existence of Life itself. Just be You!
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