It’s natural to worry about what people think of you. It’s something I’ve struggled with for most of my life.
The problem is acute when your sense of wellbeing is tied up in the opinions of others. You’re effectively giving up your own power and letting others dictate your life.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has struggled with this. That’s why I love sharing profound advice from spiritual masters that help people to realize that it doesn’t matter what others think of them.
Nothing excites me more than seeing people let go of the need to seek approval from others. It’s one of the key signs of emotional maturity.
In this quote from the Zen spiritual teacher Osho, he helps us to understand that we know the truth about ourselves better than anyone else. No-one knows what’s best for you but yourself.
“Nobody can say anything about you. Whatsoever poeple say is about themselves. But you become very shaky, because you are still clinging to a false center. That false center depends on others, so you are always looking to what people are saying about you. And you are always following other people, you are always trying to satisfy them. You are always trying to be respectable, you are always trying to decorate your ego. This is suicidal. Rather than being distributed by what others say, you should start looking inside yourself…
“Whenever you are self-conscious you are simply showing that you are not conscious of the self at all. You don’t know who you are. If you had known, then there would have been no problem — then you are not seeking opinions. Then you are not worried about what others say about you — it is irrelevant!
“Your very self-consciousness indicates that you have not come home yet.”
We often talk about “enlightenment” on Ideapod’s blog, and it’s one of the key discussion items around why we share ideas at ideapod.com.
Enlightenment is hard to define, but I think Osho makes a valuable point at the end of this quote.
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Your self-consciousness indicates that you have not come home yet. A state of enlightenment seems to be about coming home to yourself.
For a long time I understood coming home to myself as about achieving some kind of mastery of my psyche.
Now, I feel that I’ve let go of this desire. I’m not as attached to seeking enlightenment or trying to help others do the same.
Instead, it feels easier to just “be”. I don’t really know what that means, but I’m more relaxed and happier this way.
I think a key development for me has been gradually letting go of my desire to please people around me. That’s a fool’s errand. It’s not possible to achieve.
Rather, I’ve embraced the idea that the only opinion that matters is my own. Osho has been one of the spiritual teachers that has helped me to see this.
I hope you get the same inspiration from these teachers as I have.
If you’re interested to read more about the wisdom of Osho, consider these articles:
- Embrace Your Inner Adult: Osho Reveals 4 Steps to Emotional Maturity
- Osho Reveals The Simple Secret To Happiness (Without Any BS)
- Osho Reveals How To Achieve True Enlightenment
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