Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Part 2: Everyone's got one

Everyone has an opinion and many love to share their unsolicited opinion, especially on the subject of someone else's life or choices.  And if things are going exceptionally well for you,  you just got promoted, came into money, purchased something extravagant, there will be someone only a stones throw away that will criticize you for it.  And usually it’s those closest to you.  I had a best friend growing up who relentlessly competed with me about everything. And if she couldn’t match me, she would try to knock my choices down.  And this was my best friend! Another example is when my husband and I decided to move away to another city.  We had talked about it for a couple of years and one day we just made it happen.  Everyone was shocked we were actually doing it. And the responses we received were interesting indeed.  Most questioned why we were moving there.  As if we had to convince them or prove the move justifiable, to them.  Few said to us, “Good for you! Congrats and you seem really happy”.  My best friend Sam was relentless with questions and judgments, like I was moving to the worst place in the universe.  I was hurt and upset he wasn’t as happy for me as I was.  That he should be proud of me for finally doing it!  On our last day together before my move he made a comment “You will make new friends and start a new life”.   That’s when I realized he was afraid of loosing me.  And I knew I would miss him dearly too.  But I immediately felt a sense of comfort from my true self that even though it was painful and scary,  I was making the right decision and could not please or convince everyone else.  Nor should I! 

This isn’t to say everyone you know is jealous and self-serving, and is not happy for you or wants the best for you.  It’s their Ego.  It’s as if they become possessed and all they can do is compare your choices to their own, and the Ego works overtime to compensate. However, those who are in touch with their higher self will be happy for you, because other people's successes are not considered a threat.  You too may have found yourself on the other end.  I admit I have.  When my husband was laid off and money was tight, I was pregnant and my life consisted of work and home, I heard about how a couple we knew were constantly traveling the world.  One of them was laid off, but somehow they were living a jet setter’s life.  My ego took over and I criticized and judged, “That’s stupid, they should be saving money if she’s not working” “How in the world can they afford it?” “They must be living off credit cards and their debt will soon destroy them!” Yes, I was jealous!  I admit it.  But this is what happens when other people’s choices or seeming good fortune threatens your Ego.  

The Ego is defined as “The False Center”.  When a baby is born it does not posses a sense of self yet, instead focusing on and becoming aware of the outside, the other.  As the child develops it becomes aware of self through how he or she is perceived from the outside and others such as the parents. This awareness is a reflected awareness, as it is reflected from outside of self.  And with nurturing, love and reinforcement the child develops a reflected center, a center created outside of self.  It is a false self created as a social by-product.  The false self can be manipulated or changed by society.  However, the true self cannot.  To live in the Ego is to live a life that will always be out balance.  The Ego is always hungry for attention, affection, and praise and to tell “my story” or play the victim. It is not authentic or spiritual.  It is a false friend that does not have your best interest in mind, but it’s own.  The true self in contrast is something that is always inside you. It is the spiritual self, the soul.  It holds all of the teachings of your past life experiences, and possesses the path of your current life’s purpose.  But on a simpler level, it is the self outside of the Ego.

To be true to your higher self is to not get involved in such thinking.  Instead, focus on what you do have, but not in a way that competes with others.  For example the statement “Well I am blessed with my pregnancy and a great job and am very happy with my life, so good for them if all they have is travel to make them happy”.  That is still ruled by the Ego, because you are comparing your choices with those of others.  To think or act from a place of the true self would sound more like this “I am so happy for them, they must be having a blast.  I would like to travel too but have decided that the time is not right for me now, and I will know when the time is right and act on it then”.  When you tap into your true self you are then thinking from a place of destiny and accept where you are in your life, that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, regardless of where others are in their lives. This is also true when considering other’s judgments about your choices, and having confidence that you are making the best choice for you.  



1 comment:

Erica said...

awesome dialogue on judgement of others and self reflection...i think you make some really good points and i really appreciate hearing the honesty in your story. it is funny how we want people to be happy for us, but then our ego can sometimes compromise our willingness to be happy for others...but, as you said, when you are true to your higher self...you can usually avoid those pitfalls and truely live the balanced, happy life that you desire because you are not comparing...you are embracing the life that is uniquely yours.