In a world of 7 billion plus people, it is very difficult to be completely alone. Then when we are, there is always the tv, computer, cell phones etc that keep us in constant communication with the outside world whether we want it or not. Aside from going to a lone mountain top or getting dropped in the middle of a jungle we will encounter the energy of others at some point in our life. Then again, what would be the point of being on this planet with all these souls if not to learn and grow through and with each other’s experiences?
Sharing moments with loved ones and people of the same mindset can be uplifting and inspirational, encouraging and literally feed our soul’s growth. Those times spent in situations where we feel and witness the negativity of others and/or their abusive behavior towards us or others can chip away at our inner peace…. if we allow it to. Stopping this invasion is not about pretending it isn’t there or hiding how it makes us feel deep in our heart for that will only result in robbing us of our own joy and happiness. First we need to allow ourselves to admit that this behavior is causing us to feel a certain way. Once we recognize the way we are reacting, then we can take measures to protect our inner peace. It isn’t always easy to do and there may be situations that we never seem to be able to over come, however, in realizing that we are the ones who own the feelings and can keep them or change them is key to maintaining our sense of peace within.
Some people, lock themselves away from the world to avoid being in any situation that they feel will result in judgment, criticism or a difference of opinion. Yes, it is better to surround ourselves with positive influences but life is about meeting the challenges, overcoming your fears of failure and fear of what we look like to someone else. We can actually gain true strength and self-confidence through such encounters. It is by facing our foe – usually our own fear – recognizing it for what it is and then taking action to put it aside. When we instantly become hurt because someone is “criticizing us or judging our actions or work” we then acknowledge what we first feel then set it aside and ask ourselves:
1- Are they actually attempting to hurt me or help me?
2- Is it constructive criticism that I can learn from?
3- Am I being defensive needlessly?
4- Am I being judgmental of their right to an opinion?
5- What positive thing can I take from this encounter?
We might be surprised how often we assume people are “out to get us” when actually they are expressing their own opinion on a situation or are attempting to help us in their own way to solve what they see as our problem. Most likely we do the same at times to others and don’t realize it either! So often we create the drama in our lives and manifest the worry. Hiding away from the world all the time is not the answer. Although times of reflection, meditation and introspection are wonderful and necessary tools in feeding our spiritual growth, it is in the living in the world where we truly experience our inner peace. No one can take this away from us unless we allow them too. Their actions may affect us and how we think of ourselves but it need be only a fleeting moment. Turn the situation around and draw a new sense of hope, strength and courage from it and feel our inner peace expand.
When we are in a situation where we recognize negativity we can encourage ourselves by saying:
“I have the power to absorb this negativity or to release and send it back. I choose to maintain my inner peace and so send light, love and healing for the Divine in me sees the Divine in you.”
Within each of us lies the seed of unconditional love and compassion for each other and ourselves. Through “soul searching” we uncover its beauty: with gentleness and an open heart and mind, we allow it to blossom until we are love. This is our journey and the behavior of others; it will only serve to strengthen us. Our paths are meant to cross these people and situations for our growth and theirs. Who knows, maybe we are meant to teach them love? Teach them tolerance? Teach them forgiveness? Our behavior isn’t always perfect either and we need to learn to be non-judgmental, open to other opinions, forgiving and compassionate.
Remember to breathe in and connect to your inner peace…it is always there. Don’t be afraid to let it fill every part of your being. This peace is the key to setting your soul free; free to just “be”.