I'm sure you're familiar with the uncomfortable scenario when a friend, coworker, or family member treats you harshly. Whether it was an inconsiderate remark or a blatant insult, it probably didn't leave you feeling too good. In fact, you likely had a reaction.
I get those reactions all the time, and while I'm not here to tell you not to have them, I am here to say that it's possible to change your relationship to these reactions. Ultimately, with a newfound relationship to harsh words, you end up embracing these situations rather than loathing them.
Like most things we talk about in this blog, we have very little control over the outside world, but we can almost always choose how we respond within ourselves, and so that's where the power lies in these circumstances.
When someone say something rude or nasty to you, you're probably going to feel hurt. Your mind will start spewing comebacks, your heart will start racing, and your body temperature might rise. You'll enter what we know as the fight or flight response. That's fine, because you can't control that right now.
But what you can control is how you perceive and relate to this inner response. The truth is, insults given to us by others are gifts. They're gifts of change. They're opportunities for us to purify ourselves, and let go of yet another protective, yet useless shell we carry with our egos.
There's no need to become offended at other peoples' comments toward us. Our offense is really our ego taking offense, and it's our attachment to the ego that's at the root of so much of our unhappiness in life.
We need to remember that our natural response to others being rude or critical toward us is something to let go. And the best time to let it go is the moment it arises.
In your own life, it likely won't be long before the next person gives you a harsh critique or insult. Great, time to practice letting go. Time to pause, notice your inner turmoil, and say thank you to that person.
The next time someone insults you, simply say thank you. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to let go of this garbage I'm carrying inside of me.
Of course, you don't have to tell them out loud. This can be an inner dialogue between you and yourself. No one needs to know.
Over time, it will become clear, both to you and to others, that other people can't shake you. The more you thank them for helping you get rid of your inner garbage, the more calm you'll be.
Don't be so afraid of being afraid. Let them insult you. It's their pain, and it's your purification.
Live with substance!