I was talking to my soul sister and best friend Deepti, about my idea of 25 days of gratitude, and she reminded of how we have grown as individuals and how people putting us down have helped us grow. I thought it was rather profound, and with her permission, I plagiarized the idea. She eloquently captured a very interesting point.
People are often critiques and end up being negative, and when our self-esteem isn’t very defined, this negativity can affect you a lot. But as I see it, if you can separate the person from their criticism, you can evaluate if that is justified. I have one clear experience in my mind. I have always had problems with my weight, especially since my ankle surgery. And for some reason, everyone who barely knew me thought they had a free pass to ride me on it. On my wedding day, one of the happiest days of my life, people came to me and said “Congratulations. You have put on so much weight”. I think initially it really riled me up, and I felt the urge to give an explanation. For the next few days, I worked out harder than usual. But it took me months and many more comments to realize that the only person I need to answer to is myself, and as long as I know I am doing all that I can, then what people say doesn’t matter. I want to work out but only for me, for my own image, and for me to like the way I look.
The wisdom to choose to ignore and learn how to deal with the comments comes over time though. I think over a period of time, as you get a clear definition of who you are, then it doesn’t faze you. You accept it, and every time someone puts you down, you learn how to deal with it.
As I list the things I am grateful for, I am grateful for people who put me down, because it built me to be the person I am today.