I am here to tell you that the majority of your own ills are your listening to others (Society) and whether you choose to believe in their comments. If you are a firm believer in their comments, then you make them into your thoughts, which then in turn into feelings…about yourself. You cannot feel emotional suffering without first having a painful thought. And where did the painful thought come from? It came from Society (others), and their criticisms of you.
You go through your day, all day long, bombarded with messages about who Society thinks you are. If you are a worker at a fast food chain, which is a relatively low respected position, then you may be met with lowly comments through the day by customers and managers above you. Will you believe in those comments, which turn into thoughts, which then turn into feelings, which then turn into emotions (in this case negative).
When I was younger, I worked at a McDonald’s and tried to make small talk with a customer. He snapped at me and said, “you are not supposed to talk, you are just here to talk my order.” That was not a kind interaction, but even then I had a little bit of a Buddha nature, and I did not accept his “gift”, his comment, his criticism. As the famous saying goes, “If you are insulted (gift), and you do not accept the “gift”, then whose gift is it?
I knew then as I know now that I am not what others say about me. I am not a label. Nor am I a “role” that Society would deem on me to play. Let’s say I was a president of a prestigious non-profit firm. Then people would treat me with great respect. If I believe in those comments, which again turn into feelings, which then turn into emotions, I may feel happy for a moment, but that too has its dangers. Suppose the lofty title is taken away as the company merges with another? Then I am not what society used to tell me I am. Then when I join the unemployment line, Society then labels me just another “unemployed” person, with a certain skill set with an uncertain future. The power has been taken away from me. But have I really changed deep down inside?
Don’t eat and digest what society tells you who you are. You are a divine creature with an immortal soul that is capable of all the positive emotions like love, kindness, peace, compassion, integrity. Don’t let the unpredictable waves of society’s fickle changing of their labels on you to become absorbed into your soul