Opinions of Others About Us and About our Activities
In life, we tend to be quite concerned about what people will think of us, or what opinion they hold of us and of what we do. This concern is often to the extent that we might even adjust our behavior, our thinking, feeling and acting to that of what is socially approved, or to what is approved in the group that we belong to, or whatever the circumstance may be.
Often time, we put too much emphasis on the opinions of others, even if those people are not really related to us in any significant way. We may feel that doing something is good or beneficial, and other people may disagree with us. Out of this disagreement an opinion about us could be shaped and spread, but how much does this really matters to our own lives?
We tend to put importance on the opinions of those closest to us, like our family and friends, and some of such could create a strong effect within us. Depending on situation, we could also place importance to what other people think, like those whom we hold in high regard. At the same time, we may not put a lot of importance at all on what is thought about us by a stranger or those who do not occupy an important place in our life. But in both the first and the second case, the opinion about us and/or about what we do has come out of various filters and conditioning layers that everyone uses when they process information and create views of themselves and others.
For some people, activities related to meditation can be seen as nonsense and strange. For others, the same activities are seen as very useful. Some people may judge us for doing this or that, because they see the subject of the matter differently than us. Out of this, they will start shaping (new) opinions about us. This can especially be the case in spirituality and spiritual circles, where a lot of people think of themselves being on the right path, and everyone else who are not on that path are doing badly or will not reach the highest goal. Or, having a strong conviction that everything we’ve learned in our spiritual tradition is the best there is out there, closing ourselves for new learning and for seeing the benefits in other approaches. And like this people go and judge each other, forming opinions of one another, and trying to impose their beliefs on others.
The question that arises is what do people, outside of our closest circle, know about us? Our family knows our personality and partly our essence, but very seldom see beyond those two, and people who do not really know us see even less. Unfortunately then, often time the opinions of others boil down to the projections of their own fears, limitations and beliefs onto those whom they feel competent to judge or tell what to do.
We are who we are, regardless of what people will think. The important thing is to know who we are, what we have within us, what we have experienced, and to stand firmly on the ground. This is not to say that we should disregard all opinions that others have of us, because some of those may be useful to hear. The latter ones we can discern by listening to the feeling of the heart, the intuition, if we learned what it is and how it functions. But even without intuition we can get a sense when someone’s opinion should be heeded.
There are also many cases where people who are involved in spirituality for longer time and have acquired some experiences feel competent to judge those whom they think are bellow them, and feel that they should follow their steps if they are to reach a spiritual success. But many of them fail to see that spiritual processes relating to development are intimate, and unless a certain stage is reached in their own development, they cannot tell others what is best for them to do.
It is good not to allow for the opinions of others to affect us, whether that be in the field of spirituality or outside of it. If we rely on the guidance of the heart and of our essence (which is always there when we reach stillness and intent to hear it), then there is a feeling of assurance present, and it is this feeling by which we will know that we are ultimately following our higher purpose.
HDP, August 2020.
Great read. Some opinion are indeed useful to hear and heed to.
I feel it is so important to develop the inner intuition and also what you said “The important thing is to know who we are, what we have experienced, what we have within us and to stand firmly on the ground,”
Thank you for the important reminder.
Yes, having intuition developed (and other senses that come from the expansion of consciousness) is something that we need to have in order to go successfully through different stages of the path.