What You Think of Me

By Dennis Merritt Jones, D.D.
Author of THE ART OF BEING, 101 Ways To Practice Purpose In Your Life
THE SECOND AGREEMENT: "Don't take anything personally. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering." ~ Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

A student went to his master teacher and asked to be taught the key to true inner peace and freedom from emotional suffering.

The master said to him, "Go to the cemetery and curse the person that lay in each grave. Tell them that they are stupid and their mother is ugly too. After you have done that then go back again the next day and bless and praise each person in every grave, telling them how wonderful they are...tell them that the world worships them to this day...even go so far as to light incense and candles for each one, calling them saints. When you have done this, come back to me."

The student dutifully did as instructed. Upon returning, the master asked the student, "Well, what did they have to say about your opinions?"

Astounded, the student replied, "How could they respond to me at all? They were all dead and could not hear a word I said, negative or positive."

The master replied, "When you too, do not hear what others have to say about you, negative or positive, you will know true inner peace and freedom from suffering." Of course the student lived happily ever after.

Isn't it interesting how our egoic nature gets in the way when we "buy-in" with attachment, to what other people think and say about us? Why do you suppose that is? At some level, we still have not accepted the fact that we really are okay just the way we are, so we develop a need (addiction) for other people’s criticism or praise to prove to us, that how we feel about ourselves is correct. The law of attraction will always guarantee an ample supply of these individuals to assist us in demonstrating how we feel about ourselves. We find symbiotic relationships and “encounters” that help our ego feed upon the worthlessness we feel.

The fact is, other people’s opinions are never really about you, it is about themselves. We always serve as divine mirrors for one another. Terri Cole Whitaker summarized it all beautifully in the title of her book, “WHAT YOU THINK OF ME IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS.” When you are mindful of your true divine nature, other peoples opinions (nice or nasty) are meaningless, because you know who you really are and therefore have no need to be defined by a world peopled with many individuals who are constantly seeking targets to project their own sense of pain and lack upon. This doesn’t mean you have to ignore compliments and constructive input from others; just be sure it does not become food for the ego. By living in a full awareness of God’s Presence it will automatically make you immune to opinions targeted at the ego self. Make a decision not to take ANYTHING personally...and then notice the inner peace that comes with that release.

“When you are mindful of your true divine nature, other peoples opinions are meaningless, because you know who you really are. . .”

MINDFULNESS PRACTICE FOR TODAY:

If you find that others want to offer their opinion of you today, positive or negative, smile and say, "thanks for sharing." If it is negative, let it become as water off a ducks back. If it is positive, silently give credit where credit is due by saying to yourself, "It is not I, but the Father within that does the work."

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