October 24     

Today's quotation:

Why be afraid of what people will say?  Those who care about you will say, "Good luck!" and those who care only about themselves will never say anything worth listening to anyway.

J.Z. Knight

Today's Meditation:

Sometimes I'm quite amazed at how much time in my life I've spent being concerned about what other people think or say about me.  And yes, as much as I hate to admit it I find that I still have concerns about it.  But the feeling is just a feeling-- in my mind I know that what other people think or say really doesn't matter for all practical purposes.  But just try to get my mind to affect those feelings. . . .

I always tell other people not to worry about what others say because those whose opinions truly matter will tell you things that are complimentary and encouraging.  If someone wants to tell me negative and discouraging things, though, then it's quite obvious that the person isn't one of those people who are truly worth listening to.

Discernment is an important gift for many of us, but it also is a skill that can be strengthened if we practice it regularly.  Which people truly matter in our lives?  Just because we're acquainted with someone doesn't necessarily mean that the person is someone who's going to add to our lives in positive ways.  And if they're not adding in positive ways, then why worry about what they're going to to say to us in any given situation?

Of course, there are times when constructive criticism is the best thing we can get.  Not everything we say to other people should be super positive if they're engaging in self-destructive behaviors, for example.  But again, discernment is the key here, being able to distinguish between the times when it's important to let people know that something is wrong and the times when they simply need a bit of encouragement.

As for me, I want to be one of those people who always say "Good luck," or "Way to go," or "You're quite a special person."  I want to be a person whose opinion other people find important not because I always compliment for no real reason, but because I give sincere encouragement always-- for it's something we all can use, all the time.

Questions to consider:

What kind of person are you-- the kind who cares about others, or the kind who cares about yourself?  Does it show?

Are you sometimes afraid of what other people will say?

Who's worth listening to in your life?  Who's not?

For further thought:

To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves-- there lies the great, singular power of self-respect.

Joan Didion



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