There is not one person in this world aside from yourself that’ll be able to have an authentic image of who you are. Your closest friends may know your life story and your lover may have seen the depths of your emotions and feelings. Mom or Dad may have watched you grow up and influenced your life in ways you haven’t discovered yet. But it is also true that no one has lived your life. Only you have experienced the events in your life, reacted to them with your unique emotional structure, and abstracted the lessons you have from taking all of that in: this is what makes you, you.
The typical advice you’ll hear is to not give a flying fuck about what anyone thinks about you and although this is a useful idea, it’s needs a little more clarity for you to truly embrace it. You must recognize that the way people feel about you and themselves, which are closely correlated, will have a eminent effect on how they perceive you. Someone envious or jealous of you will find the flaws in your being. Their feeling of inadequacy will shine into how they see those who have their desires. Someone who judges your behavior only does so with their closed mindset of ideals and expectations of the world. They are projecting their inner world on the world around them. We all do this to some degree. They are ignorant to what you’ve been through and your logic behind acting your way; therefore their view of you is erroneous and unjustified.
It’s nice to know that people’s judgement of you is innately inaccurate but this doesn’t stop them from talking. People’s perception of you creates your reputation which plays a big role in your life after all, right? Only to a certain extent. Anything dealing with your reputation can be altered by your actions. You can’t control how people decide to view you, but you can control what they have to judge you from. Sometimes we personalize our issues so much we forget that people’s opinions change every day; impressions do last, but rarely forever. Even more, if you focus on what people have to judge you by, you can see where a lot of missing pieces are in your interactions with them. This shines light on their inaccurate perception of you, opening you to the opportunity of dismissing their judgment or working towards the right actions to recover your name. Either way, you’re always in control.
Let’s reflect: think of the last time you had a series of unfortunate events happen. Everything was going wrong, people were only making it worse, life was stacked against you. These moments isolate us in our mind causing us to feel trapped by misfortune and failure. The doubts start to roll in and now you find yourself down on your days, saying to yourself “fuck my life” or “I think i’m just gonna [insert cop out].” The old adage goes, “there is nothing new under the sun.” My interpretation of this reads that my problems have been experienced by others in some time, place and fashion. The roadblocks we’ve hit in life have been hit by people who are just like us, sometimes “trapped” in more convoluted situations than you’re experiencing. You don’t have to undermine your situation to understand there’s always someone with a more difficult situation than the one you’re in. Your problem may be difficult, I’m sure you have big problems. The point is to not get caught up in them. Rest assure you are never alone in your struggle — someone is going through the same thing whether you see it or not. Too much time is wasted sitting in sorrow and despair while the same potential energy can be put into finding the solutions you’re longing for. You can’t grow without struggle — it’s through pain and suffering that we become more capable people. Change is not comfortable, toughen up and get back to it.
All in all, nothing is permanent. People’s opinions, politics, your personality, society, and everything concrete or abstract all share that universal truth. What is true now, will not be true later, what you struggle with now, will be apart of your story of progress. From talking to friends and counseling my peers, I often see people dig themselves in a hole. When the going gets tough, they’re too reactive and conforming instead of patient and resilient. We take these problems as our own and sometimes make it a part of our identity, digging ourselves into a deeper hole. The mishaps of life should be left as just that and not something bigger than our capabilities and finesse. You have what it takes to get past anything life presents to you, it’s only a matter of patience and detachment. Having an objective view of your problems with people and situations is key to making the most beneficial decision. Remove yourself from your issues to make them a part of the many lessons you will experience throughout your life.
Play the student, not the victim.
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