We are vulnerable to what others think of us, what they think we are and should be. We want to be liked; we want others to see us as good enough just as we are. Why? Why does it matter what others think of us? Why do we even believe, that what others think of us, has anything to do with us? We know there are many out there who think all kinds of things about us, both positive and negative and many have no opinion on us, they do not even know that we exist. Yet we hold on to this idea that everyone should like us. Even though we know we cannot do anything about what others think.
It is true, that if someone does not like us as we are, here and now, there is nothing we can do about it. We can perhaps get thinner or fatter, or in some way try to make changes or adjustments to ourselves. But no matter what we do, if anyone is not happy with us as we are, whether it is our parents, children, friends or spouse, then nothing we do will change it.
It is quite certain that as soon as one fault changes for the better, in the mind of others, another will appear. Because what others think of us is not to be found in us, but they themselves. When we are unhappy with ourselves then we direct it out into the world around us and suddenly everything is different from what we want it to be, the workplace, the kids, our spouse, we do not want to wake up in the morning, go to work, we are jealous, everyone is impossible and different than we would like, we ourselves are impossible.
We are dissatisfied, and maybe it is something we always have to live with from time to time, but this dissatisfaction is not in our surroundings, not the others, it is not others fault, not our children, spouses, or co-workers, but ourselves. This is only our own weakness that we direct into the world around us.
It must be obvious that if we are unhappy with someone or something, then it is within us, that these feelings are, from us they come, and from us they are directed at others. In other words, if we steal, then we are the thief and not someone else. And no matter to whom or what we direct our dissatisfaction, it is always in and of ourselves. Changes should therefore always and only be directed at ourselves.
We should, however, not fall into the trap to think that we can change what is, based on what was and should be. Facts of which is cannot be changed. What was is only an old memory and what will be is only an idea based on a memory of what was. That is all.
Seeing what is, and that means to see and understand all through, is a change in itself, without involving what was and will be. If we suddenly see a tree that we have not noticed before, then we changed nothing, but there was a change and that change had nothing to do with what was and will be. That alone, to see something we have not previously noticed is a change. When we see ourselves and our actions, what we have not previously been aware of, then surely something will happen. Self-knowledge leaves no one untouched.
When we come across the self-doubt of others and they criticize us in some way, then we often take it seriously. We believe what they say, we believe there is something wrong with us, that we are impossible as we are and must change. It goes without saying that if we ourselves did not believe that we are impossible, or not good enough as awe are, then others ideas about us would not affect us. We must know that anyone who is dissatisfied with himself is unhappy with everything and everyone else. It starts and ends in us. The judgment is in fact our own against us.
To be free from judging others and ourselves we must see that satisfaction and dissatisfaction are actually one and the same. Positive and negative judgments are not the issue, but it to judge others, either way. Positive and negative are only others ideas about something and can be very different and always in accordance with the one judging. So it is no solution to move from one to another. We have to rid ourselves of both. It cannot be learned by reading books, or by practicing different systems, meditation or other. It is just something that we do. Like a thief who steals and stops stealing. It is not possible to train and practice, just do.
When we let go of both, what is left? Nothing. When there is pleasure, we are pleasure. When there is dissatisfaction, we are dissatisfaction. When we let go of both, there is neither, there is in fact nothing and then we are nothing and that we dare not be.
We do all kinds of things to be happy, but if it does not work then we choose to be unhappy rather than nothing. Never nothing, though we are, and cannot stop being. We can only hide it behind the deception, all kinds of illusions that cause us endless trouble. It is quite certain that while we have not the courage to be what we really are, then we are at war with ourselves and we always direct it out to our surroundings. That is inevitable.
To see and understand that it is disagreement and trouble we create, rather than nothing, is a change in itself, and that change is permanent. Then everything has changed and yet everything is the same. It was always there, we just did not see it.