I blinked the other morning when I read the following quote below. I am quite amazed by the persistence of this hopefully soon disappearing thought. I don’t see it fit for the emerging paradigm.
“Distance yourself from people who make you feel bad about yourself.”
How about we pause and wonder a bit around this quote, only to realize that no one else on this heavenly Earth can actually make you feel bad about yourself but yourself. Simply because there’s no one to blame, and it’s nobody’s fault.
How about we dig a tiny bit deeper, find out why we feel bad about ourselves and stop feeding those hungry ghosts? This way, step by step, we start dropping the unnecessary victim mentality.
You know, the one that makes me wanna hide and shy away from people, always running away even before I give someone a chance.
Wouldn’t that be nice for a change?
When digging deeper I asked myself a question. From where do these hungry ghosts come from in the first place. Why are they so persistent?
Most of our behavioral patterns originate in our childhood. When we’re children our minds resemble a blank canvas. We come to this world with the most innocent empty mind. However, before we can resume to that blankness again, nature takes it’s own course.
When we are born, each of us gets placed in a certain environment, which is defined by a particular culture, different belief systems, ways of thinking, attitudes, etc. Combination of all these influences form our personality (i.e., ego) – an expression of who we come to be in this world.
Growing up, we are surrounded by people, who can easily transfer and imprint their ways of thinking and attitudes that shaped their personality. Part of that personality can include the following attitude:
“you make me feel bad about myself“.
Unfortunately, people we grow up with, aren’t always the lucky ones who get free from that attitude (and many other attitudes).
Every attitude begins its journey as a thought. Thoughts are very persistent little buggers – I see them as this living entities that fill up the mind space and children pick them up easily, being so absorbent, like sponges. Thoughts are very innocent, like those air bubbles you see in the image above. It’s all about what we make out of them when applied in every day’s life; when they morph into attitudes.
As a child I didn’t have the required awareness to choose which thoughts to accept and nurture and which not. Grown-ups, siblings; they could easily pass on the “you make me feel bad about myself” attitude, which was accompanied with an emotional charge. For example, when my playful brothers kept on telling me I was stupid, and ugly, just to annoy me, to make me jump & react. And react I did. I could feel the attitude forming, but I didn’t quite understand what was happening. I did not know that if I continue responding to similar events with such strong emotional reaction, it will become a big deal over time.
There are many events in daily life that have the potential to disturb my inner peace; once the pattern is formed, it doesn’t have to come through my brothers. When triggered over and over again, this attitude starts gaining power and can easily throw me off balance. There is no amount of physical distancing that can help in this situations, because the blame game hungry ghost lives inside me, waiting for the opportunity to be fed again. This can easily lead towards formation of an addiction to such situations, consciously or subconsciously we start craving the game. Hence the hungry ghost analogy.
These days, I’m wise enough not to play this game again. I know that it’s me who puts myself in a diminishing position if I start believing it was you who made me feel bad about myself. I start acting like a victim, blaming you and turning you into a perpetrator. This induces fear, pain, anxiety and lots of discomfort when being with people. The whole spiel is unnecessary and easily avoidable once I recognize this pattern of behavior. When I accept all the stories and pain I have experienced in the past, with love and compassion, and drop any resulting anger, hate, or resentments towards people I thought might have caused this pain, I start healing. When deeply inside I start feeling good about myself, everything else looses its grip and the ghosts vanish.
I realized it’s my responsibility to start recognizing my own perceptions about myself and the world I live in. An example of me, myself, and I; self-centeredness well applied without boosting my ego. 🙃
I wanted to help that child inside me to break free from the unnecessary victimhood spiral. To integrate the fragmented part of the self – that particular line that was once an empty part of the canvas. To set that thought free. It was the only way I could help that innocent child in me grow up and join me on this wonderful journey called life.
The story presented above is only one of many examples that play out in our lives. You grasp one, and eventually you have the ability to grasp them all.
If you observe carefully enough you will start noticing this narrative everywhere, in children’s stories, books, novels, TV shows & movies, so choose wisely what you buy into. I’m glad for this quote popping up the other morning. Gives me a chance to play my favorite game – bouncing off thoughts and blowing air bubbles. 🔮 🤗
Addition (11 March 2022)
The points I have made above are valid. However, there are many people in this world who are not aware of the above mentioned behavioral patterns. Many are not yet able and ready to accept it.
If you are aware, just remember to be kind to people you interact with. Be mindful, so that your words and actions don’t deliberately trigger the response of “someone feeling bad about themselves just because of what you said or did.” If you can, try to avoid it. The responsibility of those who are aware, is to have compassion, to be kind to, and patient with those who may not yet know. We’re all on the same journey, it’s just a matter of time when we all reach that same point of realization. Om