Since childhood, adults have taught us to pay attention to “what people say”, and to seek their approval, their flattery, and their acceptance. They taught us to compare ourselves and to compete with our friends in all fields (emotional, spiritual, physical and material); we are taught not to live our own dreams, but those of others, to strive to try to please them, to make them happy, and to attain the approval of our peers. They trained us to be selfish, not to lend our toys and belongings, and to be number one always in everything we do, to feel powerful and able to manipulate others. If for any reason we couldn’t accomplish something, we used tantrums, threats, aggressiveness, whining, or indifference to the extent that today we can’t live our lives, or do what pleases us, because we are trying to adapt ourselves to a world of false values and limitations. Moreover, as if this were not enough, besides judging us, we were programmed to be inexorable judges of others, with no mercy for what they could feel with regard to our criticism.
And in that endless chain of comparisons and search for approval, we learned to criticize ourselves cruelly and not to value ourselves for what we are, but instead to dwell on our shortcomings and failures. This behavior brings desolation and dissatisfaction, and leads us to lose our self-respect. The worst part is that even though we are adults now, we continue to act in the same way, and to pass on to our children all the shackles of selfishness, manipulation and frustration.
Every time they criticize or offend you, reply with love”. As I heard those wise words, I understood that we only have two options in life: either to believe what people say about us, and ruin our life caring about what people will say, or to learn not to care about what others say, and just heed what you tell yourself at daybreak.
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