27. COMING FULL CIRCLE

full-circle

Years ago I was working on a job north of here. I had little authority and was mostly in a position of response rather than initiation. My supervisor set me up on a task that required me to be on a ladder and work for some time in the ceiling. I was by myself and the day was going well until a man from another trade showed up.

“You’re in my way.”

I glanced at him and continued my duties.

“I have work to do here.”

This time I responded but didn’t look at him. “Yea, me too.”

He was starting to get irate and I was honestly becoming somewhat amused; though I didn’t let my antagonist on to how I was feeling about the whole situation.

This time he came at me with a heightened verbal attack. “I need you to move! Are you not listening to me, I have work to do!”

Now, I’m sure we could have figured out how to get around each other, but this time I thought a little defense was in order. I stepped down with my tools in hand and faced him looking straight into his eyes.

“You know, if your opinion meant something to me I might get pissed, but since it doesn’t, I just don’t care.”

He lost it and I had a hard time keeping a straight face. As he was throwing his tantrum I continued with a steady voice. “Look, I don’t hate you, I don’t love you, I don’t anything you at all. As far as I’m concerned you’re going to do one of two things and only one of two things. You’re either going to keep talking or start swinging.”

He stopped and looked at me a little slack-jawed. After a moment of contemplation he said, “I guess I’ll just keep talking.”

I laughed a little, “There you go, keep talking, doesn’t matter to me.”

He left and I never saw him again.

I’ve lived a long time not worrying about the so-called “bad things” others thought of or expressed about me. The simple fact that I can’t do anything about what others think is all I need to embrace this philosophy. When I acknowledge someone else’s opinion I give it power; when I reject it, it has no energy. Even if I had the ability to change the mind of someone who didn’t agree with me, I wouldn’t. To do so would be against everything I believe in. Persuasion of  those who don’t align with my agenda by initiating actions and examples is fine, but to try to leverage my way using fear and intimidation is out of the question. I’ve had this way of dealing with potential adversaries for some time, little did I know that the opposite was also true, and finding that out was one of my greatest epiphanies.

I’m a fan of Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, among many other teachers. He quotes Abraham Maslow quite a bit, mostly in reference to becoming a self-actuated person. One of the qualities projected by these people is an ability to “be independent of the good opinions of others.” Honestly (without sounding like I’m throwing myself under the bus) I had a difficult time understanding this bit of information. What did it mean exactly? I found out quite by accident while working on another job.

Tony and I were in a crawl space installing drain lines and having a pleasant conversation while we working.

He was still an apprentice and I was showing him some techniques as we progressed. “You know Daniel, I’ve never heard anybody say anything bad about you.”

I shrugged, “Wouldn’t matter if they did. I chose whom I live to please, and that group is very small. Everyone else is on their own.”

He laughed and the conversation continued. “As a matter of fact, all I’ve heard is good things, you get a lot of praise.”

This is where it got weird for me. I had no idea how I was going to react until I said it. “That doesn’t matter to me either. I’m grateful for it, but I seek neither applause nor even endorsement.” That’s when it hit me, I was independent of the good opinions of others. The realization shook me tremendously and I felt a little light-headed. I had come full circle with this belief.

By no means am I saying that others opinions aren’t important to them, of course they are. My opinions are important to me as well, but if I were to accept that everyone’s opinions were as at least as important as mine, I’d lose sight of my path. I’m not talking about becoming self-centered or arrogant. What I’m really focusing on is not letting others sway me from reality by either letting negativity dissuade me, nor letting praise give me false sense of accomplishment. I seek no approval, I accept no hostility. I do however accept criticism from those I choose to admire, and allow appreciation from those I have a close connection with. It sounds like a fine line. It’s not. I simply keep a small, very tight circle of influence around me.

Ask yourself “How many people actually have opinions that matter to you?” and you’ll see what I mean. It seems to be five or less for most people I’ve talked to. Too many and you’ll end up living the life of everyone else; constantly striving to please and fulfill their agendas. I don’t think anyone has ever made the world a better place by attempting to silence their audience with the promise of pleasing all of them.

Please follow my blog. Comment and share as you wish.

With Love and Compassion, Daniel Andrew Lockwood

Advertisements

6 comments

  1. Nice Daniel ,
    Another blog I am glad I read. I have a different way of dealing with others opinions, however, this blog has helped me define my path on the subject and for that I thank you

    Like

  2. Life is indeed a dichotomy; we are both individuals and a part of the whole. My personal favorite belief that seems to contradict itself is “I believe I am connected to everything but attached to nothing.” Complements are nice I suppose, but I will never let how someone thinks of me change how I think about myself. I DO allow those I care for and respect to influence how I proceed, but in the end that’s still my choice. Most people never stop to see it this way as far as I can tell; they think they are being manipulated by others when its just not true. No one, and I mean NO one can make us do something we truly don’t want to do. There is always a choice. Sometimes those choices suck, but they are still there.
    As far as giving myself credit; this may seem odd but I’ve always felt that what ever comes from me actually comes through me; that is when I create anything it feels as if I am taking dictation or direction. Very often when I’ve gone back and read what I’ve written it’s like I’m reading someone else’s words. Of course I know it was me, but I also know its a collaborative effort between me and “source.” Likewise with my artwork. I never sign the front, and only occasionally the back. I am not uncomfortable with praise, it simply feels misplaced.
    I continue to enjoy your perspectives and perhaps they will help stimulate more topics as time goes on. If you like poetry my blog entry “A Gift to a Friend” contains one I wrote years ago. Take Care, Daniel

    Like

    1. I agree with EVERYTHING you just said. I experience the same “channeling” feeling throughout much of my creations as well. I will certainly check out that poetry post, and thank you again!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely wonderful post!!! I love it when people share their personal stories. It allows me to feel a deeper sense of connection with them, and unity, after all, is what I’m after. I love how, in the first story, you are non-confrontational, yet firm in your communication. I enjoy this balance. I have a few clients who are bothered by their polar behaviors (and I have a LOT of stories if you’re every interested): either blowing up and stooping lower than the aggressor, or walking away without saying anything when they DID want to say something. (I’m not saying walking away is “bad” for everyone. I’m saying, if you will feel regret for being overly suppressive, then perhaps, in your individual case, you should communicate your feelings as diplomatically as possible….. much like you did in your vignette.) You allowed yourself to remain completely authentic to your feelings, while also possessing enough egoistic-distance to find humor and compassion in the situation. What a wonderful balance!

    As for your second vignette, I feel that my own personal opinion is that of “I agree and also disagree.” As with many things I say, I always feel that I come off sounding contradictory, haha, but in truth, I feel it is logical. While I absolutely agree with you, Dr. Dyer, and Maslow’s idea of remaining independent of even the GOOD opinions, again, I feel there is a balance. For example, there is a time to be “independent,” and a time to realize that there is no such thing as independence. Let me clarify. In another comment, I had written about “it all depends on your perspective.” This is another one of those moments. When you find yourself in a place where you are over-valuing the opinion of others, to where it becomes a detriment, contamination, or dysfunction in your life, then you’ve lost your Balance. You have allowed yourself to be overly-demoted or over-inflated to the point where your ego is running the show entirely. You’ve become so lost in the focus of your human identity (which you’ve allowed to be defined by OTHERS as opposed to being defined by yourself), that you’ve lost the balance of identifying with your higher self. I am so used to being “George, the failure,” or “George, the divorcee,” that I can’t even remember that I am also “George, the divine co-creator.” In those situations, I absolutely agree that one would benefit from the practice of distancing themselves from their ego-mechanism to retrieve that balance. You are a soul experiencing an ego-incarnation. When you forget about the soul origination, and get lost of the ego-hologram of life, you’ve lost your balance. Therefore, distance yourself from the ego-mechanism enough to not be swayed by the negative OR positive opinions of others.

    This brings me to my next point of balance: independence is an illusion. If you’re operating outside of the human perspective, and focusing instead of the perspective of God/Source/Spirit/Light/Whatever-you-name-it, you’ll remember that everything is a form of the same universal energy…. Which implies that you are not separate of the tree, your neighbor, Pluto, or otherwise. Your smallest substructure is the common denominator. Being such, you are NEVER “truly” independent in the concept of the term. This third-dimensional, physical reality, BY DESIGN, is made to force you to be DEPENDENT. You’re depending on the air you breathe, the water you drink, the plants you ingest, your parents feeding you as a newborn, etc. You’re quite dependent on everything, and THAT IS OK. That is the divine design. The point of the physical environment is to make you FEEL as if you are separate from God (because you cannot “see” God here, per se), but as life progresses, you are then taught to REMEMBER that you are not separate at all, and that you are very much interconnected, as the ripples of the pond.

    If you are operating from that perspective, then you will ALSO not take offense when somebody is disrespectful to you. They are not “swaying you from your reality,” because you’ll know that PERCEPTION IS REALITY. You will know that the disrespectful person is as much of You as You are. They are merely a reflection of an aspect of you. They are there to reflect to you “where you are” in your journey of self-actualization. Are you reactionary? Are you pensive? Are you unaffected? Depending upon your reaction TO YOUR OWN REFLECTION, you can gauge where you are in your own journey. Also, this reflection (the other person) can also help you to define your preferences. When you see a person being disrespectful, automatically you send out a preference for respect into the universe. Just by being in that “argument,” you are given the opportunity to feed the energy of Respect into the universe – bolstering its vibration for the future creation of the universe. (This is evolution in the works!)

    As you implied, you learn so much about YOURSELF just by being around others. In that way, your own evolutionary journey is dependent upon the many relationships (even random ones) that you have while here. Again, showing that true independence is an illusion. “No man is an island, Entire of itself…. Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for THEE.” (<- My favorite poem, shortcut version. I just KNOW you already know it, haha.) I’m terrible about tangents, so here is my point: I BELIEVE THERE IS AN APPROPRIATE TIME TO GIVE YOURSELF SOME CREDIT. If you have so successfully navigated through your journey to supersede independence and realize dependence… enough to garner compliments from everyone you’ve positively impacted…. By all means, wonderful man, ALLOW YOURSELF TO ACCEPT THOSE COMPLIMENTS. You’ll do so humbly anyway, which is the true nature of a self-actualized man. You’ve earned those compliments, as again, they are only a reflection of your own expansion. Perception is your reality, and everything is a balance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I would LOVE to claim I am perfect at this, but alas…. I still find myself slipping occasionally. The difference in where I am now, compared to where I was, is that I’m able to recognize unproductive behavior instantly and can then make the appropriate adjustments; but sometimes not until my ego has had its say.

      Like

I look forward to hearing from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s