On Being Unoffended

We complain when others speak ill of us or berate us  because of the perceived damages we suffer at the lash of their tongues. We complain about their actions against us but fail to understand that it is not their words but our attitudes toward their words which create our own suffering.

So you have been slighted – so what?

If you are grounded in your morals and living well, what could a word do to hurt you?

The reason insults and slander hurt us is that we think and live in such a way as to give them a power they haven’t intrinsically. We think that criticism means a flaw in ourselves, we act in such a way as to be embarrassed of our own actions.

So you would be free the pain of insults and gossip?  

First, understand the correct role of thought, second, the correct role of action.

When slings and arrows are hurled our way, our impulse is to hurl them back or to be hurt by them, but if you believe, as I do, that our most prevalent thought becomes our character, which shapes our actions and our reality. If you believe as I do that we may not always be able to control our thoughts moment to moment but that we can shape the tone of them. Then ruling over, and valuing of your own thoughts as the bedrock and first cause of your circumstance ought to take precedence over the vanity of getting even.  

Try to understand what impelled your aggressor to berate you. Work diligently to examine what it is in yourself which you perceive to be hurt or damaged by the other persons words. If you examine accurately the balance sheet of someone’s disproportionate and unhinged aggression, more likely than not you’ll conclude that the only one suffering injury from such an attitude and such statements, is the speaker. They must dwell in such a mind, not you unless you so choose to buy into their reality.

And to the second point, how to live flawlessly.

The insults and aggressions which hurt us the most are those that have a grain of truth distended past realistic proportions. It is when we know that the insult has an element of truth that we cannot reject it out of hand, but must entertain its validity.

To define what would make your life exceptional and then live in such a way as to meet that ideal and manifest it into reality here and now is beautiful. To do that in all moments with the good of all in mind is religious. When you live a life free of regrets, one that you have authored in such a way as to find it a joy to read, when your book of life is beautiful in your own eyes through and through, then no critic can debase it nor devalue it.

So, you would like to find yourself free from the perceived pain of insults? First, govern your thoughts and second govern your actions.

Only then can the adage “what others think of me is none of my business” become livable and engrained in your character.