“Pay no heed to the insults of men, nor to their praise; in this way, you shall forge your own path.”
Each one of us had experienced being insulted, disgraced, humiliated, shamed and mocked in spite of doing what is right. Are you a leader? Upon sacrificing for your people and making decisions that you thought was the best for many, you still have someone talking behind your back scrutinizing you, your style, and your decision-making. Even after the countless hours you’ve spent serving others, your time and effort, still, there will be those people who are going to hate you.
Are you a follower, working for someone superior than you are (in terms of profession)? You’ve followed everything, every task, sacrificed your precious sleep. And often, you don’t get recognized. Worse, someone lazier got the promotion. Or even worse, you still get criticized for being incompetent.
Are you an artist, writer, songwriter, musician, dancer who loves to create from the bottom of your heart? But people are telling you, “your creations are good, but you can’t create a living out of it.”
Are you a parent who gave up everything and gave everything to your child? But your in-laws still disapprove your methods?
You gave up on a lot of things. Your comfort, your peace. For the sake of doing something earthshaking, life-changing, something worth doing, something worth dying for. But you still get all these negative feedbacks. More often, from the people you wanted to please. Ouch.
There are harmonious relationships, there are not. There are supportive people, there are destructive people.
The reality of it is, somehow, someway, no matter how hard we try, we will be in that situation when our hard work seems to be just a waste of time..
Learn the art of acceptance
Here’s a story of a wise queen who has learned to accept things she cannot change.
In a kingdom of Arabia lived a queen called Layla. Her wisdom illuminated the land like the sun, her beauty blinded men, and her wealth was greater than any of her subjects. One morning, her chief advisor asked to see her, and said: – Great queen Layla! You are the wisest, most beautiful and wealthiest woman in the world. But I have heard unpleasant things; some people laugh at or complain about your decisions. Why, in spite of all you have done for your subjects, are they still not content?
The queen laughed and replied: – Loyal advisor, you know how much I have done for my kingdom. Seven regions are under my control, and all of them have enjoyed peace and prosperity. In all the towns, the decisions of my court are just and inspired. “I can do almost everything I wish. I can order the frontiers to be closed, the gates of the palace to be locked, the treasury coffers sealed indefinitely. “But there is one thing I cannot do: make the people shut their mouths. It matters not what false things people say; the important thing is to continue to do that which I consider to be true.”
In this story, the queen knows the greatness she is capable of doing, and does it. Recognizing this is the way she was meant to be. To do greatness. And so are we.
A lot of people are slaves of their addictions. From a simple bad habit, it can turn into a disastrous addiction.
There is one addiction that is very common to most of us. And that is the approval addiction. You do something you think is good to get the approval of someone, or the approval of people. This is a trap. A very dangerous trap. This can turn you into something you do not really want. Forgetting your core values just to get that approval.
Recognize this. But do not focus on your addiction; rather focus on your ambition. Focus on the very core of your being. And you get to know more about yourself.
Some people use these insults to their advantage, utilize it, with burning emotions to disprove their detractors and say, “You made a mistake of insulting me.” Well, personally, I WON’T advise you to do that. Because the very fuel you use to achieve greater heights are the negativities that came from other people who are most likely, don’t really care about you. They just don’t. What happens if they’re gone? Your passion will just die with them.
A friend shared me a story about his life with his father:
His father was raised from a financially poor family. His father beats him, shouts at him, and tells him a lot of nasty things. His father compares him to other boys: “Buti pa yung ibang kumuha ng course mo successful na!” And it really hurts him a lot. He described his father as a very insecure person. He wanted to prove something to other people that he can achieve something. Like buying an SUV, owning a big house, wearing fancy clothes, etc. He defined himself with these things. He was too aggressive, comparative and distracted. He didn’t realize he’s already destroying himself and his son’s image of him.
But when my friend’s grandfather died (this pertains to the father of his father), my friend said that his father lost his passion for life. He lost his aggressiveness for acquiring more material things. My friend’s father was actually seeking the approval of his own father! And when he’s gone, the desire died with him…
Don’t let this mistake destroy you and your relationship with the most important people around you. This story really pains me. My friend has been a very good person despite of all the painful encounters with his father. And he needs healing and so are the people who experienced the same thing. If you are, then allow yourself to be healed by God. Here is a healing method from Bro. Bo Sanchez, which I find very efficacious.
“Whenever you feel a negative emotion be alone in a room and just sit down with it and feel. Don’t judge it, criticize it, intellectualize it, explain it away. Allow yourself to feel the pain. It’s okay. Accompany it – breathe into it – and after a while, you’ll feel the anger or fear or sadness lose its urgency and power. Allow God to tenderly embrace you in your pain. And then, at the right time, you can let go.”
Let it go.
Give up what is destructive and follow your anointing.
‘Shake It Off and Step Up!’
One day a farmer’s donkey fell into an abandoned well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway; so it just wasn’t worth it to him to try to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him. They each grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. Realising what was happening, the donkey at first cried and wailed horribly. Then, a few shovelfuls later, he quieted down completely.
The farmer peered down into the well, and was astounded by what he saw. With every shovelful of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing some thing amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up on the new layer of dirt. As the farmer’s neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.
Pretty soon, the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off, to the shock and astonishment of all the neighbours. Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to not let it bury you, but to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone.
Acquire the skill of taking insults. For detractors are here to stay.
Shake it off, then step up.
Life itself will reward you 😊
Peace be with you.
Mark Lester Fernando