Another prompt from Don Miguel Ruiz, by way of the Four Agreements Cards. Today’s card comes from Don’t Take Anything Personally, and it says:
Be immune to others’ opinions
What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
I know I’ve written about this card before, but for my own sake, I’m writing again — this is a very difficult topic for me.
I had stopped going to my stats page for a while, after I hit a high in March. But since the beginning of last week, I’m back to fewer readers than I had when I’d been writing only for three weeks. This is supposed to be just fine, because I am writing these posts first and foremost for myself, for my own therapy. But I have spent almost my entire life depending on the opinions of others to measure my worth. I’m sure you can imagine how that feels right about now.
My guess, as I have no real answer, is that this is of a piece with the crash I wrote about earlier in the week. I am still writing, and will be, but the spark is just not around right now. Notice I said right now instead of anymore. I have learned a thing or two!
I had an interesting encounter at work today — I was waiting on a guy, and I knew I recognized his voice, but he didn’t look like who I thought he was. Turns out he was — a friend from church youth group in high school. He’s had a very rough life — seems he was always in trouble. Anyway, he asked if he could call, and I said sure, not really thinking. Well, he called today, and this poor, lonely guy seems to think I’m the answer to some prayer. I hate so much that he is lonely, but I am not getting involved with him, and somehow, I have to make that clear. In this case, a ‘positive’ opinion about me is affecting me quite negatively, so even just approach from a different direction won’t do it.
What does that make me? Human, I guess; still, I need to throw off this crazy dependence on the feelings of others about me, and determine my own feelings about myself. What in the world will make that easier?
I thought of a couple of things, after I got off the phone with this friend. I need to intentionally express my opinions of myself every day — stand in front of the mirror and make five positive observations about myself. If I become used to my own opinion, perhaps I won’t be so worried about what everyone else thinks. And I have deleted my bookmark for my stats page — I’m going to make it take that much longer to find it, so maybe I can stop myself before I see the numbers.
To those of you who read my posts, I am very thankful. But I have got to get a handle on this myself, and soon. My heart has been pulled and pushed enough in the last 35 years. Time for me to put my shoulder into it, and do my own pushing for a while.