Sometimes it is difficult not to be affected by someone else’s behavior or communication. When we feel slighted or rejected, we may be tempted to take it all very personally. Rev. Terry Cole-Whittaker wrote a book a while back entitled, What You Think About Me Is None of My Business. I think the title alone is worth the price of the book.
A shift in perception that usually helps me is to remember that when people come to me with asserted energy on an idea or statement, I know it is about them and their reality, not mine (unless I am tempted to buy into it).
There is so much negative energy wasted on worrying about other people’s realities and beliefs. My friend Lauren always helps me remember when I tell her someone said such and such and I felt really anxious (angry, defensive, sad, judged, manipulated—fill in the word here!) about it. She always has the clarity of mind to say, “Clearly, that was about her and her challenges.” And she always backs it up with consistencies. Needless to say, she is always right on.
In the book Toltec Wisdom by Sheri A. Rosenthal, DPM writes, “As children we internalize everything and make it about us. We become hurt and wounded. Our less-than-perfect parents couldn’t help themselves; they had their own issues, problems, and wounds. This doesn’t make their actions right; it just makes them not about us. When we can rewrite our story […] we’ll be able to let go of what we believe […].”
One way to hear our own truth is through the practice of getting quiet. Listening to the war of words that bounces around between our ears often serves only to confuse us further.
Let’s all try to embrace our own reality and truth and not someone else’s. Remember, what you think about me is none of my business!