Recently one of my friends, who has acquired a bit of “status” over the years was asked, “How do you feel when people make negative comments about who you are and what you are doing?”
I was interested in how he would respond. His power, his wealth, his education, and the fact that he was a well-known leader put him in a position where he was continually watched and judged for each of his choices.
I began to feel nervous myself just thinking about it: such a large audience of people paying attention to each of his day-to-day moves.
I imagined my own life and how difficult it was for me to detach, at times, from other people’s opinions of me.
His answer surprised and pleased me.
He said, “I can’t let people’s opinions of me get in the way of who I am. It’s not my business what they think. That is their idea of who I am… their projection… it has nothing to do with me. I know what my intention is when I make a choice or take a risk. They do not. If I spent each day upset that someone has a poor opinion of me… well then… I’ve wasted a lot of time now haven’t I?”
How much time have I wasted fretting over someone’s opinion of me?
Has that helped me to move forward in my life or on my spiritual path?
I cannot stop someone from thinking badly about me nor do I have a lifetime to fret about it.
I know my own intentions.
I know when I act from a place of love and humility, from my true self, and when I act out because of my ego, self-esteem, fear, anger or frustration.
I am the only judge of my actions.
I must detach.
I must allow them the freedom of their opinions and keep the focus where it matters: on my own life.
“Dear God, help me to detach with love. Help me to detach without losing compassion.”