For quite some time, we’ve had this affliction, we humans, and it is currently expanding in epic proportions, much like a virus. It becomes dominate in our thinking, changing how we view the world. Whenever any malady grows into a crisis, it becomes loud, screaming for our attention, demanding that this, too, be corrected. Therefore, I am committed to bringing this out into the light, where we can see what we are doing and realize, we do have a choice.
The affliction is feeling offended. We choose to be offended. It clearly is a choice. Let me explain:
When someone on television, in your family, at work, says something you do not agree with, a belief, a ‘fact’, a description of someone or a group, something that you have thought about and makes you feel either protective about self or others, upon hearing it you take offense. Taking offense includes judgment, anger, a sense of superiority, irritation, indignation, criticism, and self-righteousness. Why would we want to feel that way?
Let’s look at a few examples:
Your favorite political candidate is being criticized by a bias news channel. You’re incensed; you believe she isn’t being treated fairly. You think this for a few minutes and your anger grows. You tell your friends, and as you do your blood pressure rises, and as you continue with this line of thinking you find you are building a whole case against this newscaster’s opinion and keep seeing more examples that are similar. You find more and more newscasters that are doing the same thing. It is snowballing; now you are just looking for the offense.
Someone makes an offhanded comment about your clothing, or the way you worded something, or the choices you’ve made, or even a rejection of the product or service you are offering. You wince. You have a choice about how to react, right at this point. Often our emotions rise and feelings of resentment begin to take hold. We may get stuck in this way over and over again. (Who doesn’t?)
One way out of this and anchor ourselves more firmly in our wellbeing is to realize that the thoughts, opinions and beliefs of others are entirely their business. If someone doesn’t like your attitude, clothes, or words, it really has nothing to do with you! This is their perception, of which you have no control.
I remember when I made a huge career change years ago, leaving the corporate world to begin my own company. It was pretty scary, and one of the challenges was worrying about what other people (co-workers and clients) would think. I vacillated between worrying about this and becoming angry and offended at the prospect of others judging my decisions! (And boy, some did!)
If it weren’t for the following conscious inner dialog I copied out of a *Chopra Newsletter, I would have felt great stress over it. While I ran every morning I repeated this as a mantra. (*Find a link at the end of this article to the whole publication)
It worked. Those who didn’t understand my choice and who were critical of it, in the end had no impact on me. I made a choice not to be offended.
The next time this feeling pops up, and you feel that offense, remember that whatever others are thinking and believing, it is their dynamics, their perception and reality, and it probably has nothing to do with you!
Your job is to bring your full essence out into the world the way you were created.
Find the whole article here