We are told that we must be better than our colleagues, dress according to what society and fashion dictate, be serious, mature and wooden, and look like models. In vain we make huge efforts to follow these norms and to be accepted, recognised and valued in society. We see people who have everything but who are not happy because they desire insatiably what they do not possess. They do not accept or love themselves because they have a minor physical defect, a limitation or more correctly due to a distorted view of reality.
Many people blind themselves to the fact that this distorted view is caused by the “what will they say” virus with which we are infected from a young age, and fail to realise that if they do not change their attitude they will live the rest of their lives with bitterness. The only way to change this perception of life is to choose a different point of view and to learn to laugh at ourselves and at our weaknesses and defects, because the more we take life seriously the less we will be able to live it.
We must learn to evaluate instead of criticise ourselves. When we criticise we search tirelessly for our defects, faults and errors and we use them only to feel sorry for and destroy ourselves; whereas when we evaluate we are not part of the problem but instead part of the solution because the mind is directed towards resolving conflicts, analysing the facts and finding positive results.
So when people speak harshly about you, judge you or criticise you, remember that people throw more stones at a tree laden with fruit, they break its branches and hit it without compassion so as to get at the fruit. On the other hand, no one notices the tree which bears no fruit.
Do not look in the mirror every morning and see just your defects; on the contrary, look for your greatest qualities and attributes. List out loud your positive features and be thankful for everything that you are. Love and accept yourself as you are. Love and respect others as you would like to be loved and respected. One of the most beautiful lessons I learnt in a monastery in India is that a true master is one who teaches the ability to laugh at oneself.
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