The subject of this article is about reacting to negative emotions. If you are affected by other peoples actions, that indicates that you care about what they think of you, you are not free. Certainly that is normal in our society, but is it normal for the real essence of a human being as opposed to the formed human ego personality?
The Sufi tradition defines freedom as not being concerned with what anyone thinks or says about you. That can easily be misinterpreted as arrogance so let me clarify that there is a difference between not caring and not being concerned.
Not caring is arrogance that gives your lower self permission to be rude or act inappropriately, whereas not being concerned means that you do your best, and be objectively honest, even if people will be upset with your actions, as long as you are acting objectively and considerately. The truth is more important than your personal gain, reputation and acceptance by others.
Today we are proposing to you that when a child is born, the unlearnt, unformed nature of the being is pure and clean of preconceived ideas and simply wants to eat and sleep. Those are the only desires that the newborn has the moment it is born. Perhaps there are more, but we really cannot be certain beyond this. Shortly after becoming conscious, a desire to know propels the child in its actions. At the age of 1 or 2, punishment is introduced by parents who need to control or guide the child to their opinion of correct action. It is here that the principle of caring begins to take hold of our decisions and actions.
As soon as we are denied our basic needs through punishment, we realize that we are dependent on our parents for food and protection, etc. More than that, we realize that they are not always going to be there because they now have put us in our own room and left us alone. Confused by this, we form a fear of being abandoned for good reason, locked in our little caged bed with no food or water without knowing or understanding when we will be released is a scary thing. The problem is that parents still want their life and moments alone. This requires the abandonment or banishment of the child for that period of time. The child does not understand this, but soon learns to care about what the parent thinks of them, wanting to be loved and fearing being rejected.
You may not like my choice of words but if you could become a child once again, you will also experience these same feelings. It is not difficult to do, just imagine what it feels like to experience these situations without understanding, as if you are in a strange land and cannot speak the language, and are moved around and put in a room which appears to be a jail cell without any explanation.
Confusion and fear has started to grow and the question is formed; “How do I guarantee or control the source of food and companionship that I cannot live without?” As the years pass, now age 3 or 4, we have learnt that if they are upset with me, they will expel me to my room alone for an unknown period of time, perhaps indefinitely and withhold love and affection, which are equally important to humans as food.
It is at about this age that our ability to be free has been destroyed and we have learnt that we must be concerned about what other people think about us because it means the difference between getting what we need for our survival or facing the disastrous other possibility. From the view of the infant, a life or death decision on the instinctual level beyond logic and reason which have not as yet been formed. The poison of self doubt, fear and distorting our true nature has been introduced into our subconscious mind to begin its work at controlling our life.
When someone is a negative person and you do not care what they think of you, then their negative energy cannot affect you. However if you feel that you need them in any way, which you will do automatically since you have been bred with a fear of being abandoned and have the subconscious fear of being alone even though now as an adult you are not in the same helpless position of a child, you will be fearful that they like you.
Logic has left our mind at an early age. Self reliance has also been near exterminated by the fear of being alone at a stage of life in which if that happened we died. That has formed as a habit because it takes so long for a human be become self reliant and in all those years, we are repeatedly faced with being left alone or rejected.
Since this is all deep in the subconscious, we only feel a subtle need to have people like us, and that brings a fear of making them upset. We are a prisoner to this deep seated and now redundant fear.
If you get affected by any negative emotions from another person, then you know that is because you care about what they think of you, that is the only way for it to effect you. Emotions and words are like a knife put on the table in challenge. Humans are generally foolish enough to pick it up and instead of using it to fend off the negative energies, or simply leaving it on the table so as not to put their fingerprints on the murder weapon, we pick it up and stick it straight in our own hearts.
This is your exercise in being free. If that person wants to be negative, OK, let them be negative, but I do not want to be negative so I will leave the knife on the table and not care what they think of me.
This is established when you realize where the fear stems from as described here, and also accept responsibility for your life and your own emotions, which gives you the confidence that you will always be able to survive, and with seven billion people on the planet, there must be a few who will always want to be your friend.