Be independent of the good opinion of other people- Abraham Maslow
Life is teaching me that what other people think of me is none of my business. Other people are looking at us through their own glasses, which are absolutely different from my own , even though we may have similar values. They are basing their judgments and opinions about my actions, beliefs and success/failures on their own unique life experiences.
Each one of us is operating with a different prescription of perception. What makes you you is the series of experiences you have had in your life. For everyone, our experiences control our actions and thoughts, but sometimes we wake up to this. It can happen as a natural progression of your ongoing personal growth, and it can also happen as a result of a catastrophic event such as deep pain or loss. When we finally come to realize that we are not set in stone to react to everything, that we do have free choice, and can rise above reacting to actually responding, life becomes a more vast and open space of opportunity.
For me one of my big sources of pain was a fear of abandonment. I really have no idea where this came from, other than as long as I remember as a child and a young girl, I felt that I was not enough. This feeling of insecurity and uncertainty accompanied me through my life for a long time. As I grew and became a mother, and more successful in my career, it quieted down to a hum below the surface. This was better than the constant low I felt in the past, but it was not gone.
It would get triggered mostly by the ones I loved the most, as is their purpose. I believe that the people closest to us are here to help us grow, to trigger those reactions so that we can look at them and work to be free. My wonderful lover James is so devoted to me that he would always take steps to ensure that I felt safe, loved and secure. Inevitably there were instances when I was triggered nonetheless. Usually this would happen on the rare occasion when he left for a trip without me.
I distinctly remember in November of 2014 when James had an invitation to go to Maui with his friends. I made the conscious choice to tell him to go, with an open heart, truly wanting him to go without me. Maybe I knew that this was my opportunity to grow, because grow I did. While he was gone, I began to ask myself-why do I react with hurt, sorrow and abandonment when he is away from me? I looked inside, and realized that I had a choice! It made no sense that I react this way, I knew this man loves me totally, and he has always put my desires and wishes ahead of his own. It was time for me to do the same.
I still don’t like being away from my love, when I am with him I love the way we can be in a place of love together. What is different now is that I know that when he is gone (still rarely!) I will be growing more deeply into myself. I have learned that it is really true that you can change your life if you change the way you look at things. I have taught this for a long time in our business, when teaching how to deal with an unhappy guest or teammate. I have always looked at it as “They must really be having a bad day”, maybe they just received some bad news, or their spouse doesn’t tell them they are loved, or they are in pain. By changing the way you look at the experiences that come to you, you can choose to learn and grow. You always have the opportunity to make the choice of how you view your world and the people who come into it. Choose Love.