Why do I spend most of my days living other people’s lives?
Why do I live a life of compromise to appease other people?
Why do I limit myself and prevent myself from blossoming?
These questions can apply to all of us to varying degrees. We tend to act upon limited thoughts that fundamentally seek to fit in. We are terrified that we may seem crazy, abnormal, out of place that we do anything that we can to ensure we say and do the right things to not be ridiculed in today’s society. For in today’s world it is a full time hobby to criticise. We live in a society that accepts and encourages criticism of others.
Yet we do not question the reason behind this criticism because we are so focused on the comments and judgement that we fall victim to this. Rather than tuning into the judgement and trying to change due to this, we should seriously look into ones motivations for such crude comments. Similar to a bully who wants to attack people in order to appease his own levels of insecurities, we live in a society where everyone is so insecure that they need to pass their pain onto the person next to them.
Do we actually care about the person passing on judgemental comments to us?
Fundamentally, do we actually see that individual as the threat?
I sit here myself and wonder if it is actually me that is causing my own pain. When I receive criticism or judgement I do not dwell on that individual, instead I go inside of myself and I worry about the image that I have created of me. I feel that I put myself at risk of feeling hurt by this image and thought mechanisms that I hold myself accountable to. Due to this image and labels that I have of myself I then am vulnerable to pain as is someone does not agree with these self-proclaimed titles then I feel I am being attacked, I begin to fight back and assert the image and labels that my ego has spent years building within me.
How dare someone try to diminish the great image I have of myself. I believe myself to be intelligent, and then someone says that I am not, I believe myself to be beautiful and then someone says that I am not. I keep going back and forth with certainty and uncertainty. One moment I am certain of who I am and then I feel hurt and unsure as others state the contrary.
What If I was to have no image and labels associated with myself, would I then care of what people thought of me?
Is it not just the image and labels that we attach to ourselves that we are fundamentally angry at?
We attach ourselves to such narrow and limited thoughts in an attempt to gain certainty of mind. Through these labels and images we have of ourselves we now feel safe as we have an answer. Finally, I ‘know’ who I am and what I am doing. Yet it is counter intuitive as through this method of seeking comfort in ‘knowing’ we then seek to attack anyone who does not subscribe to our views. We create division between us and the rest of the world, as they are not in alignment with my self-proclaimed view of the world and me. It is always my illusion vs your illusion that is the theme of today’s world filled with violence and conflict. We have all invested so much time and effort into creating our own little illusion that we live by each and every day that we will quite happily hurt, attack, and criticise anyone or anything that does not agree with this. It is through ‘knowing’ where criticism takes place.
It is this relentless mechanism of the mind that tries to convince us each day that what we believe is real. My mind is full of self-proclaimed knowledge that I happily abide to each day. Each moment, each second my mind is putting my experience into labels and categories and forming a structure under which I can later relate to should I encounter a similar experience. I live each second of my life reflecting from past experiences, just in an attempt to gain some form of security that informs me that I know what to do.
It is through this belief that we are products of our past that we begin to create division among us. All the memories, feelings, people, etc that we have experienced all throughout our life have now become who we are in our minds. In order to liberate ourselves from our minds and thus prevent ourselves from being open to pain we must come to terms with the fact that we are not those labels and images, and that for each second that goes by a new version of our self is born and presents a new opportunity to be a different person and to live a different life.
Our natural state is to not hurt and to not be hurt as in this natural state we live our lives presently in each and every moment not attaching ourselves to anyone, anything, or any image. If I have no preconceived image or label of myself then I am unable to be hurt as I understand I am much more than what my limited thoughts might try and convince me I am. To develop this lifestyle is to recognise and fully understand that you are not your limiting thoughts, your body, or your experience, rather you are what creates your experience something formless and abundantly powerful. Remember it is not the spoon that bends, rather yourself.