When I was in second or third grade, little kids in my class were nice but sometimes they were a bit mean with each other, like kids can be. One day, one of them turned to me and said some things that were supposed to be hurtful (no idea now what that was!) and he was even shouting them, as we were both surrounded by at least a dozen other kids. I calmly placed my index and thumb of my right hand in the shape of a C and turned it to face him and did not say a word. His words had no effect on me. Irritated, he asked me what I was doing (or some other rude word) and I said «Your words come towards me, hit here (pointed the top of the C (Index)) and roll down to the bottom of the C to exit here (pointed at the tip of the thumb) and fly off back to you.» He got mad and tried to close my C, but I told him it didn’t matter, I had an «inner C» that he could not close. He then turned around frustrated and walked away.
I still have that inner C to this day, and it has probably shaped who I have become more than anything else. Although that little boy might have taken my C as an attack (I was afterall reflecting his insults back to him) it wasn’t meant as such. Just like an armor protects the vital organs during combat, my C was there to protect me. In life, you are bound to encounter people who will be rude to you, act in certain hurtful ways, misperceive you (sometimes in wild ways), and it is easy to take some of those things personally. I have come to believe that most of those things are actually NOT about us, but in fact, I think they say more about the person expressing them.
If someone tells you that they think you are lazy, they might actually be showing the fact that in their world, being a self-declared workaholic is the norm and they consider that it makes your style of living inferior to the one they chose. Or who knows, they might be saying that YOU are inferior to the people who constantly work. But it does not matter so much, because YOU know and love who you are and your inner C will reflect back the perceptions, words, interpretations that do not fit in YOUR world. Judgement is all around us, but the only one that matters is your own. If a long line of people (from various backgrounds and beliefs) passed in front of you and commented on your life, you would have a long list of statements and judgements that express and show the beliefs of the person emitting them. Different cultures could perceive even the «perfect life» of another culture as quite scandalous. Well, every person has a personal culture and when they meet another, their rough edges rub off on the other person’s rough edges and together they get more polished. And together we grow. If we choose to be affected by everyone’s opinions and judgements, we are signing up for a very anxious way of living.
We know when something has hurt us on a deep level, something that someone did or didn’t do or say. I am trying to say that it does not have to happen. I am not saying we should be like robots, but I do see many more wounded people than I wish, who do not have to be. Someone’s words, behavior or attitude towards you do not define you. They define them. Knowing that, your inner C will simply reflect back the words or behaviors back to where they belong, not as a weapon turned around towards the assailant, but like simple logic or truth. Putting things back where they belong, and moving on. Not more complicated than that really.
So the inner C is a secret armor that I share with you, one more tool to put in your toolbox if a time comes when you are the target of something that would hurt you if you didn’t know better, if you didn’t realize that those words are not for you, and that they are in fact the other person’s inner dialog spilling onto you. You can choose to recognize this, for yourself, and to no longer feel like you have to wait for others to change in order to be at peace.
Does it happen that hurtful things are indeed meant for you and should cause reflection? Yes and no. Hurtful things without any constructive content are not of value and might mean that someone picked you to vent, they could have picked anyone else lucky enough to be there at that moment! But the content that does feel constructive and could cause you to review your actions and decisions might be useful to you, without the hurtful emotions attached to them (which your inner C would have gotten rid of).
It’s probably easier to use the inner C with someone who is obviously off track, or so «crazy» in their thinking that you can clearly see that the opinion cannot be taken seriously. But it is not always that easy, is it? :) People are all shades of grey, and the level of «craziness» in their interpretations can vary wildly. What matters is to keep expressing your Self no matter what others perceive of you or not. Some people might just be unable to see the full spectrum of your colors. Not because you do not emit them, but because they are not equipped with the right «tools» to see them. It is nothing personal. :)
“A man is not hurt so much by what happens, as by his opinion of what happens.” -Montaigne
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