Look at who they really are, the people whose approval you long for

Look at who they really are, the people whose approval you long for, and what their minds are really like. Then you won’t blame the ones who make mistakes they can’t help, and you won’t feel a need for their approval. You will have seen the sources for both — their judgments and their actions.

Marcus Aurelius

You show up somewhere with a friend. There are people you’ve never met before. It doesn’t matter — everyone’s a human being, everyone wants to be treated kindly. You’re calm, grounded, firmly rooted in your body; unaffected by others’ perceptions of you because that’s all they are — perceptions. A million perceptions of you from a million different people. None of them alike. None of them Truth. And you know there is a deeper self inside that is you. You don’t know this by thought. You don’t know it by being able to point to it, by being able to say, “I wear Ralph Lauren; this is who I am.”

It’s something no one can see or feel or touch and yet it’s firmly, deeply rooted in your soul that once you’ve felt it, it never leaves you. You know. It is beyond thought and is as the Oak tree. Tendrils of root through every aspect of you. Just below the surface of visibility. All through-out your life.

And so you’re kind to everyone without thought for what they think — because everyone is going to perceive something different. You’re rooted. There is no worry, no being caught in your mind. You are kind, therefore the world is that way.

 


 

This is not most people. That is the person people want to be. As comfortable in company as alone; stillness, vibrancy, embodiment emanates. That is what most people want to be; not in their minds, but in their bodies and feeling calm. Peace.

Everyone cares so much about themselves. And yet they give others’ opinions the responsibility for their well-being. We give others’ words more credence than their own. If someone says you’re a terrible human being, there isn’t a lot of argument. You may get defensive. You may get angry. But that’s not argument. That’s a reaction to you thinking, Fuck, someone uttered my dirty secret.

Caring what others think is something I struggle with. So every time I find a quote like above, I have to bookmark it and share. Because everyone struggles with it.

Sometimes what people most need to hear is one of two things; one, others’ opinions are not gospel. They are not true — they’re someone’s thoughts and emotions.

And two, when number one fails, know that you’re not alone. Most people care deeply, deeply, what others’ think. They’re just too scared to say.

 

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