Do you want others to ‘like’ you?
I know I’ve struggled with this. I can fool myself into thinking I don’t care, but when someone calls me out on something they don’t like about me, I tend to think about it for at least a few days before letting it go. This is especially true if I value his/her opinion.
Growing up, my parents would disagree with a way I spoke, acted, or was and it would make me feel like a failure. For whatever reason, I blew it out of proportion in my mind, either through their influence or on my own.
As I grew up, I noticed I wanted to fit in. People in my area seemed very cliquey. They formed circles of friendships, and it was difficult to find my place inside of them. In spite of the fact that I moved to Pennsylvania at the early age of 6, it seemed circles had already been formed and would exist this way for the rest of my childhood. Sometime during high school, the ‘cool kids’ started to like me, and I was fulfilled at first.
Over time, I realized I didn’t care to be friends with anyone who didn’t accept me for who I was. Some of the cool kids remained my friends, because it turned out they were awesome once I got to know them. Others fell off the wayside, as I observed them treating others in a less than loving way. I learned to make a distinction between seeking approval from “good” people and others who were less kind.
Nowadays, I find I want to be accepted when I’m entering a new crowd, class, professional direction, or by mentors. When I meet someone who is super kind and everyone seems to get along with them, but we don’t click, I wonder what’s wrong with me. If I “mess up” — by being late, slow to grasp a topic, or not at my best — I’m tough on myself and want to make things right, even when it’s not possible.
Can you relate? And, if so, do you realize acceptance is an unhealthy pattern?
You see, seeking approval from another person comes down to ‘ranking’ yourself against them. But, we’re all equal, on a soul level. Society has taught us the person with the biggest bank account, highest level of education, most drive, or best sense of humor is the “best”, but that’s a load of you know what…
We are all equal. Others are entitled to their opinions of us, but those judgments are rooted in something that is a facade: rank.
Societal rank, if you subscribe to beliefs founded in Hinduism or Buddhism, is merely a life circumstance that pertains to one lifetime. If you subscribe to another religion, societal rank is human error, and not how you treat ‘thy neighbor’. If you’re on the ‘universe’ side of thinking, then we are a symbiotic species with all that is around us, and collectively, we form the organism of Earth/universe. We are not greater, lesser, or any different. We are simply one part — or one type of cell — of a being that is much greater than ourselves.
So, why would it ‘ever’ be ok to compare ourselves to someone else and feel ‘less’ than? Even if this person feels we are less than, that’s their opinion, and they are — quite frankly — wrong.
As time goes on, and I meet celebrity after celebrity, or high-achiever after high-achiever, I can tell you they are lost children. Most of the time, their focus has been on something materialistic for so long they’ve lost touch with their real hopes and dreams; and, they feel lonely at the top. Their problems are the same as mine and yours, just dressed in fancier clothes and inside of faster cars.
Accept yourself. The soul inside of you is perfect. Your judgment may become clouded at times due to human error. It’s normal to compete in the workplace, in sport, or at home for entertainment; but, please don’t confuse ‘entertainment’ with ‘self-worth’.
Life is a game. And the game is great. When you’re not playing a game you like, and you start to judge yourself for being ‘less than’ someone or something, it’s time to play a different game.
Then, reflect back, check the tapes and see where you went wrong. Re-write any old belief that continues to resurface, and find the power to understand how worthy you really are. You’re beautiful, wonderful, and perfect.
You and I, we are exactly the same.
I choose to play a game that allows me to speak to tons of people, travel, and compete with the world of health to enhance the message. This game is fun for me, and I like many of the comforts it provides.
But, that’s my game. What’s yours? And who’s keeping score, anyway?
If there is a score, it’s bliss. Feel blissful. Do this by being loved, loving, happy, and light-hearted. And, if you’re going to keep score, keep it on bliss.
Let the person you look up to possess more happiness — or bliss — than you do. Compete with that person, for s/he will never discriminate and put you down. Instead, a person who feels blissful will reach out with a helping hand and show you the way.
Today’s lesson: if you’re going to compete, center on bliss. Acceptance is based upon human error and judgment, and it has no place. You are already perfect.
I’m so grateful for you,
Originally published at drkareem.com on April 19, 2017.