Stephen Whitmore

Wednesday November 22nd, 2017

On seeking approval from others

When we act in such a way that eliminates negative criticism, we also eliminate many, many possible lifestyles, actions, and directions from our realm of possibility. We become slaves to that which we believe others will approve. – Jordon Bates via The Gorgeous Reality of not Being Well Liked by Everyone

I continue to learn and re-learn the truth in this.

Even the Tao Te Ching talks about it:

Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench. Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.

Safety has always been paramount to me. I’ve made a lot of compromises in life in exchange for it.

In order to really live though, I think you need to be willing to both a) look ridiculous, and b) make enemies. I’m not seeing any way around it.


On today’s meditation practice

I’m starting to suspect that I’ve never experienced suffering whose root cause wasn’t to be found in my thinking.

That is to say, I’ve been becoming more aware of how my own thoughts and judgments create my suffering in life. Something like “what if I’m doing this wrong” will pop into my head, and I’ll readily belief it, and then I suffer.

I’m reading a really amazing book by Eckhart Tolle called A New Earth. He writes a lot about this. How we aren’t the voice in our head. Rather, we are the awareness of that thought. That being alive and human in each moment is so unfathomably deeper than the paltry conceptual labels that we slap onto things. I can think “I’m angry at him because he’s keeping me from expressing myself”. But if I believe it and believe that that thought is the depth of the true reality of the situation, I’ve closed myself off from seeing it more deeply and clearly. I can be projecting my anger onto someone else and be blaming them, but it requires looking deeper than initial thoughts to see that.