Recently someone asked me how or why I don’t ever seem to be offended by negative comments and my response is really quite simple:
Every word that comes out of your mouth is about you, not me. I am not your enemy. I am not the one fighting you. There is obviously a fight going on inside of you – but it is not my war to win. That’s your journey.
Psychology really is simple. Take your own ego out of the equation and what you have left before you is the truth.
So many people look at others and this life through the lense of Judge, Jury and Executioner… and, while I choose to distance myself greatly from such individuals, I can’t help but feel pity for them.
It may seem a much easier path to outwardly project one’s anger, hatred, judgement or distaste on others when you’re not ready to address what’s going on inside your own self – but really, it’s not. You suffer so much more in the long run by deflecting your own issues and insecurities instead of outright addressing them.
“Worry about yourself.”, my mother used to say, and she was so very right.
Once I stopped looking outward at everyone else – naming, blaming, growing more and more cynical and sarcastic each day, I began to take a good, hard look inside myself. Only then, was I able to identify and address my own personal triggers and get to the root cause of each and every one of them. I am, obviously, still a work in progress but, over time, I have finally begun to start healing these issues and, in doing so, am able to find compassion, understanding and forgiveness – not only for myself, but for the outside world, as well. Through my own experiences, I can now clearly see that this world is full of so many hurt and struggling individuals.
One of my most favorite quotes is:
“We’re all in the same game, just different levels, dealing with the same hell, just different devils.”
That being said, I think we can all be proactive and minimize how much we actually suffer.
One particular Zen teaching that stands out in my mind is: “When you learn HOW to suffer, you suffer much less.”
I’ve spent the past few years working through my own triggers and fears – most importantly, loss and abandonment. I have mentally practiced letting go of everything that I fear losing. This seems to make life’s challenges less of a struggle for me, because freedom from suffering can be attained by eliminating the very causes of it – which are, desire and attachment.
“When you regularly practice walking directly towards what makes you uncomfortable, the discomfort subsides. And when you start looking at the person you despise as another human being full of anguish, pain, fear and insecurities, your hatred turns into compassion. It sounds counterintuitive to do exactly the opposite of what you feel like doing, but as the old saying goes, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” In this case, the treasure is freedom from suffering. Do you want it badly enough to do whatever it takes? To practice staying connected to everything, but attached to nothing? Just as professionals in every field must hone their skills through practice and training, let’s become professionals at living fully by mentally readying ourselves to calmly face whatever comes next; prepared to observe and maybe respond, but not react.”
– Timber Hawkeye
I have always been very open and honest about my firm belief in self-help through counseling or therapy. I write vulnerable pieces, I share personal stories, and I have created numerous “It’s funny cuz it’s true” memes that so many people can laugh at, as well as, relate to. Seriously though – I invite you to join me in making yourself a priority this year. What have you got to lose?
“If you don’t heal from what hurt you, then you end up bleeding on people who didn’t cut you.”
– Timber Hawkeye, author of “Buddhist Bootcamp”
It’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to you.
So, go ahead. Unfuck Yourself.
Be who you were before all that stuff happened that dimmed your fucking shine.