by Dalva Church
Except for physical harm, no one can actually do anything to you. You are invulnerable. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but it is true. All damage that we have comes from within us.
We use language all the time that makes it seem that others are hurting us, but they really are not.
Someone calls you a vile name? They have done nothing to you. Someone gossips about you? No harm done. Someone leaves you for another, cheats on you? They have done nothing. Someone steals from you? Still no harm.
How can I say that? Well, think about the sequence of events. Someone calls you evil names, and you are not harmed. You are not harmed until you react to that happening. Your mind begins to tell you that they have hurt you, THEN you are hurt. You feel sad. You wonder if they are right. You worry what others will think of you. That is all you.
Understanding this is the ultimate in maturity, responsibility, and most of all–freedom. Once you really get this, your whole world changes. Everyone else loses all power over you. They cannot control you, make you afraid, cause you to do anything you do not want to do. You can laugh and forgive, because you know nothing has happened at all. Some words came out of a mouth. Some actions took place, but these things have NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. Nope, not a thing.
This same understanding lets you forgive yourself. You have never actually harmed anyone by a foolish or thoughtless word or gesture.
I know some of you are thinking, “But then where is morality? Justice? Thoughtfulness?” I am not suggesting for a moment that you become cruel, or stop caring about others. Yet, how many times did you say something in complete innocence, and others had their feelings hurt anyway? How many times have you misunderstood someone? I am suggesting that you revolutionize your understanding of how things work.
What if you approached every situation from this viewpoint? Think how freeing it would be if you saw the actions of others as if they were characters playing a part in a movie. That is what they are. Just souls playing a part in this story we call living. Why should what they do hurt you?
By the same token, no one needs your approval. Nope, nothing in this universe needs you to approve of it. So why judge? People are who they are, so why would you approve or disapprove? Things happen, no matter what you think of those things, so why do you waste precious energy judging those things? Does it change anything at all? Does it help you, or hurt you?
This is also freeing, as you realize that you need no one’s approval either. You go on your way, just being, and it really is irrelevant whether anyone understands or approves of the way you are being.
Just try this. Let of the need to approve or disapprove. Let go of the need to react to what others do, or beat yourself up over what you do. If someone says or does something you would have found hurtful or offensive before, just see that they are playing a part in their own little story, and they do not even know you are there. Then let it go and move on. If you find yourself judging, remind yourself that your opinion is not necessary, and go do something much more interesting with your time and energy. Notice how easy life becomes, and how much creative force is freed by this exercise.