I found the above statement in my mail box today, which certainly made me contemplate it's meaning and relevance.
Yesterday, I attended a beautiful memorial service for my close friend, who recently died. Prior to attending the memorial, during, and after, I kept thinking about how, and why I was feeling rather uncomfortable. I know I have never really been comfortable in large groups of people. I would usually attribute it to my own alcoholism in spite of being clean and sober for 20 years, but I think it is more than that.
Later that evening, I went to visit a mutual friend, who is an artist. We got into a long discussion, as we usually do, about art, artists, and philosophy. The topic of creative perception came up, and how we view the world. As well, the topic of criticism, what others think of our art work, and whether they like our art, or us, and how we react or respond to this.
Today in reflection, I attempted to make sense of all these situations, and ideas, and to put them into context. I concluded, I will always be somewhat concerned about others opinions, as this is part of human nature. I think the only time I will ever completely stop doing this, is when I leave this mortal coil. There is always going to be some one who does not like us, sometimes, including ourselves.
Instead of always being so preoccupied with worry and concern, about what others think of us, we can choose to change this negative script. I know I needed to change these negative messages embedded into my perception, if I was to feel confident within myself, and in my own capacities, enabling me to take responsibility for my own happiness.
The conclusion I came to may sound like a no brain-er, but after reading this particular statement sent to me today, I acutely realized just how much I identified with it, and understood this is where I am at in my life, and it feels good!
I have to thank my kind friend, who was like my brother, and through his example helped me along the path to find my way. He celebrated his own individuality and allowed others to do the same.
The important lesson I have learned, is to assume the best in others, by not thinking that they are assuming the worst.
"We would worry less about what others think of us if we realized how seldom they do." - Ethel Barrett