It's not about you!

While we are growing up, we learn to take everything personally. It's always about us. Consequently, when we are adults, we usually take criticism or rejection very personally. When someone tells us 'you are … (fill in the blank)', we may take it as the truth. But actually, it's not about us.

The other day, I read a story about a saint and his follower going down a jungle. While they were trying to find a shelter in the heavy rain; they saw a snake under a tree - whirled up and fainted because of the rain. Pitying the helpless creature, the saint went up to it and picked it up in his arms. Anxiously, his student asked, 'Sir what are u doing? It's a fatal animal. It will bite you'. The saint replied smiling, 'It's God's creature too, if I would leave it like that, it would die'. He tried finding a good shelter for it. As the rain stopped, the snake came about and as soon as he did, he bit on saint's arm. Even then the saint found a safe tree and nicely placed the animal under it. His student said, 'Sir I told u it's a fatal animal'. The saint replied, 'it was just his way of saying thank you'.

When people make insulting or vicious remarks about you, it's a reflection of what's going on inside them. It is about them and their perception of you and has nothing to do with who you really are. You are simply the target at the moment. Taking things personally makes you an easy prey for their emotional poison. They can hook you easily with their little opinion, and feed you all their poison. When you take it personally, you eat it up, and now it becomes your poison. But if you don't take it personally, you are immune to their poison.

So nothing that other people think about you is really about you; it is about them. They are in a completely different world from the one you live in and have a different belief system from yours. When someone gets mad at you, it is because he/she are dealing with themselves. You are just an excuse for them to get mad.

After you understand this, the next step is to give others what you want to receive from them. If you want others to be less critical and vicious about you, then you must be considerate of their feelings and recognize their self respect. We are usually quite miser, when it comes to giving others their credit or appreciating them for the good things they do. Also, we all say things at times that we wouldn't want others to say to us. We get impatient and forget that it took us time to learn the very things we're expecting others to perform perfectly right away.

Bushra Naz

Published on 17 January 2010

The e-paper

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