We human beings are social creatures, we want to belong to something, someone, a cause a group or whatever. This comes from survival instincts that tell us if we do not belong then we will not be protected by “The Tribe”. And therefore most people choose to at least outwardly follow The Tribe, as this is the ‘safest’ thing to do. The Tribe gives boundaries and structures to what thoughts and behaviours should be outwardly exhibited by the members of the Tribe. And if these are not conforming to The Tribe then you are marked as an “Outsider”.
So when we hear opinions about us that are negatively directed, it is a natural instinct to feel saddened or worried by this. We all want to be liked, we all want to feel we belong. And when another human being, no matter who that person is, tells us we are wrong for doing what we are doing and for making the choices we make then this more often than not has an impact. It is interesting that even if a total stranger is rude to us we take offence and can feel hurt, even though we do not even know the person. Our survival instincts tune in and turn up the volume! We want to justify who we are and what we are doing, we want to feel ‘safe’ again.
But who is “The Tribe”? The Tribe are first and foremost family and friends and then they are the majority of people that usually follow the social norm. Followers that don’t necessarily have a considered personal opinion, but rather that take their opinion from the majority consensus that tells the community what they ‘should’ or ‘should not’ be doing… in other words what they consider to be ‘right’ or to be ‘wrong’. But these ‘opinions’ are just that, opinions. They are beliefs and points of view, and that is all they are. They cannot hurt, they do not really make any comment on who you are as a person. They come from inside the person who is spouting the opinion and they say more about what is inside that person than they do about what is inside you. So why take offence, in fact why even bother to listen?
People listen to others because on some level they feel they need to justify themselves and this causes them to feel ‘offended’. This offended feeling comes from being disconnected from who you are at the core of your being. Because in the end you either know absolutely you are doing what is right FOR YOU, or you are unsure about what you are doing and the choices you are making. And as long as you are not intentionally setting out to hurt another person how can you be wrong about your choices? It is your life, so live it, make the choices, choose with heart and with integrity about what is RIGHT FOR YOU!
I have always been what Stuart Wilde calls a “Fringe Dweller”, somebody that lives on the edges of “The Tribe” as they do not quite fit into the majority consensus of “The Tribe”. I advocate fringe dwelling wholeheartedly! Fringe dwellers do not conform to the tribal mind, they see through it. Fringe dwellers do not conform to the ‘norms’ of the tribe, they evolve past them and generate ideas regarding other, more peacefully enlightening, ways to live, be and think. Fringe dwellers can take offence, yes, but they know that what another person says and thinks about them is an indication of what is inside that person and is just another interesting point of view among many other interesting points of view!
Having traveled and lived in different countries I have learned that there are so many interesting points of view – or belief systems – and if I tried to fit into all of them I would drive myself crazy. And I also realize that these belief structures are just interesting points of view that come from culture, religion and political rhetoric (and now of course we have media added to the list of who and what you ‘should’ be, do and have), and are passed down through family as being the “Truth” of “how it really is”, and if you are not part of “how it really is”, (in other words, if you are not part of the same belief systems holding the ‘interesting points of view), then you must be wrong. This is why we have a perpetuation of wars, right/wrong, good/bad, them/us etc.
If we could all as human beings learn to accept that there are many different ‘interesting points of view’ then we could learn to leave each person with their particular point of view and not allow it to affect us. We could learn that this is NOT a reflection on who we are, but is more a reflection on the person holding the point of view. We could learn to let go, not take offence, but allow that person to marinate in their own moral opinion.
The only thing you can do really, in order to stay at peace with ourselves, is to KNOW yourself, come from integrity, speak with honesty and heart about who you are NOT about who the OTHER PERSON IS! As this is, yes you guessed it, just another interesting point of view.
Much love and many blessings xx