January 13    

Today's quotation:

Just being ourselves is the biggest fear of humans.  We have learned to live our life trying to satisfy other people's demands.  We have learned to live by other people's points of view because of the fear of not being accepted and of not being good enough for someone else.

Don Miguel Ruiz

Today's Meditation:

Can you accept yourself as you are--exactly as you are right now?  Can you consider what other people say you should be and realize that they truly have no clue as to what makes you, you?  And if they don't know this, how can they possibly say what you should be?  We grow up being taught that we have to meet other people's expectations in our actions and our ideals, but who created those expectations?  Do they allow you to be truly the person you're meant to be?

Other people's demands come from outside of ourselves, and thus come from a point of ignorance.  Why should I get A's in math in school when math bores me to tears?  Why should I become a physician just because my father and grandfather were physicians?  Well, my father may reject me as a person if I don't follow in his footsteps, right?  But if he does, that becomes both of our problems, and the easy way out is to do what he wants me to do.

If I do so, though, I lose any chance of becoming my own authentic self.  I lose the opportunity of exploring my own paths and learning my own lessons in life.

I have learned--often in very difficult and painful ways--that people respond to me much better when I'm being myself and not trying to be what I think they want me to be.

I have learned that if I try to build a relationship that's based on me being what I think someone wants me to be, that relationship is doomed to fail.

I have learned that being myself and doing things as I see right is an awful lot of fun.  Other people may not understand what I do or why, but when I no longer care about how others react, that's okay!

(Of course, I'm not talking about breaking laws or doing things that hurt others--some expectations that others have of us are legitimate!)

Questions to consider:

Do you do anything out of the fear of being rejected?  What?

How many people who seem to be helpful are being that way because they crave the acceptance of others?  How does that affect them?

Why do others have so many expectations of us?  (Think about our need to have control and to have others act in predictable ways in order for us to feel comfortable in our realities. . . .)
For further thought:

If you teach people to keep their eyes upon what others think of them, unthinkingly to lead the lives and hold the principles of the majority of their contemporaries, you must discredit in their own eyes the authoritative voices of their own souls.  They may be docile citizens; they will never be men and women.  It is ours, on the other hand, to disregard this babble and chattering of other people better and worse than we are, and to walk straight before us by what light we have.  They may be right; but so, before heaven, are we.  They may know; but we know also, and by that knowledge we must stand or fall.  There is such a thing as loyalty to one's own better self; and from those who have not that, God help me, how am I to look for loyalty to others?

Robert Louis Stevenson



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