A very wise friend once told me, "What other people think about you is none of your business." Then she proceeded to tell me that what any body thinks about you comes down through their filters. We all have these filters that we look at life and other people through. Our filters are created by our experiences.
If information comes to a person through their filters and those filters are created by that person's experiences, then what they think about me truly isn't about me. It is about them, not me. If what a person thinks is more about them than it is about me, then it truly isn't my business. Their thoughts are not my business. It is theirs.
My 7-year-old granddaughter got me to thinking about this last week. She and her family were here visiting. On a day trip to visit her great-grandmother, she rode with her grandpa and I. During a lull in the conversation, my granddaughter asked, "Grandma, are you mad at Grandpa all the time?" I was shocked into a few minutes of silence thinking about what she said. I paused to wonder if that was how she saw me. Was I angry all of the time? Because of the articles that I have been writing on this blog, I have been a little intense lately. Also, with so many people in the house at one time, my stress levels were up some. Did I act angry even when I wasn't? I automatically assumed this question was about me. I told her, no, that I wasn't angry at Grandpa all of the time.
Then I proceeded to make a point of being nicer, of speaking in a softer voice, of smiling and laughing more to show her that I wasn't angry all the time. Was I acting? No, I was aware and put more effort into how I interacted with those around me. I am sometimes surprised at how others see me. Sometimes, they are accurate and sometimes they are not. The point is what others think about me, how they "see" me is still none of my business. It is theirs.
Later on, our granddaughter made a comment to her grandpa that he later shared with me. She told him that her mom and dad were always angry at each other. So when she asked if I was always angry at her grandpa, she was asking though the filters of her own experience which said that all husbands and wives are angry with each other all the time.
So what do I do when I receive a complaint or praise from someone, I look to see if any of it is true for me. If it isn't, then I let go of it. If it is true, then I make the decision to change or not. It is my decision to make, not the person doing the complaining or praising.
What do I do when I receive "Hate" emails, letters, or comments? I get hurt, angry, sad and feel all of them, then I love myself and send love to the other person.
What do I do when I receive "Praise" emails, letters or comments? I feel joy, excitement, pleasure. I allow myself to feel each of those, then I love myself and send love to the other person.
What lesson did I learn from this exercise?
What other people think about me is none of my business. It is theirs.
What I think about other people is none of their business. It is mine.
We all see the world though filters which affects how we see.
Love Is what life is about. Love yourself. Love others. We are all one.