Rule Number 6

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I shared this post one year ago regarding the importance people grant themselves on social media. Not social media, but the current pandemic made me think of it again. Now that many countries have loosened their strict measures, people seem to go crazy in acting as if everything was already back to normal. But the growing numbers of infections prove that only ignoring a virus doesn’t mean it is not there. We need to follow the little and doable requests like washing or disinfecting hands, social distancing, and wearing masks in crowded places or public transportations. It would be so simple to protect others and ourselves. What many still don’t understand: Wearing masks means protecting the people around me since I cannot be sure that I am virus-free! So, if you ever wanted to do something good for others, it was never easier than today. Wear your mask in the public where it has been recommended or even requested, and follow the hygienic rules.

I want to start this post by sharing a story Wayne Dyer told in his book The Power of Intention.

Two prime ministers are sitting in a room discussing affairs of state. Suddenly a man bursts in, apoplectic with fury, shouting and stamping and banging his fist on the desk. The resident prime minister admonishes him: “Peter,” he says, “kindly remember Rule Number 6”, whereupon Peter is instantly restored to complete calm, apologizes, and withdraws. The politicians return to their conversation, only to be interrupted yet again twenty minutes later by a hysterical woman gesticulating wildly, her hair flying. “mair, please remember Rule Number 6.” complete calm descends once more, and she too withdraws with a bow and an apology. When the scene is repeated for a third time, the visiting prime minister addresses his colleague: “My dear friend, I’ve seen many things in my life, but never anything as remarkable as this. Would you be willing to share with me the secret of Rule Number 6?” “Very simple,” reΓΆlies the resident prime minister. “Rule Number 6 is ‘Don’t take yourself so goddamn seriously.'” “Ah,” says his visitor, “that is a fine rule.” After a moment of pondering, he inquires, “And what, may I ask, are the other rules?” “There aren’t any.”

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I was given a good lesson about this. Lately, I was on Instagram sporadically again. I set up that account in order to see my daughter’s travel reports when she is on vacation which she and her husband were recently. Anyway, after another very busy and nerve-wracking day opening my Instagram account once again. And before I could find my daughter’s posts I was bombarded with all kinds of meals, selfies, now I am doing this and now I am doing that, and so on (of course from different angles). 

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While I found myself getting dizzy from shaking my head, my ego pushed THE button. Immediately, my mind started spinning and opened the flood gates for my inner dialog. I don’t want to go into detail (and believe me, it was very detailedπŸ˜ˆπŸ˜„). To sum it up, it was like: “Do I really need to be ‘blessed’ with each detail of every person’s day as soon as they open their eyes in the morning? I am honestly happy for others being excited about how they fill their days and enjoy their lives. But I don’t need to walk next to them from morning to evening in being updated every 10 minutes.” My ego was excitedly dancing about my inner rant. But all of a sudden, I paused and remembered Wayne Dyer’s statement in his book and the story above. And a voice inside me said: Stop taking yourself so goddamn seriously!!
It really hit me and another talk began: Who am I to judge how important or meaningful it is what others want or feel the need to share? Whatever the reason behind it is, I can rely on that there is one and if it is only their passion and hobby. However, it is none of my business. It is everybody’s freedom to share whatever, whenever and how often they want to share. No one forces me to look at all those pictures. If I don’t like it I can simply leave the place. After all, I grant the same to myself and the readers of my blog too. So, drop the arrogant attitude to know better and lift yourself above the ego’s low energy.

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All of a sudden, I was calm again. The stress and anger which was building up due to my incomprehension dissolved instantly – homemade anger and stress which destroy mood and health. And in addition to it, it steals my time because I am wasting it with destructive thoughts. Then I began to laugh about myself because I realized how ridiculous my reaction was. I watched my daughter’s photo’s and then closed the tab. Good job, ego, you tricked me again! I am only human and far away from enlightenment but at least I realized it again. And that is the only way to learn and to make a change for the better. I have noticed that I have been keeping this lesson in mind since. For example, when I am driving behind someone who is rather crawling than driving down the road, or when I am lining up at the check-out and the one in the front is counting coins while the line grows, … I immediately recall rule #6. This is such a relief!

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Not taking yourself so seriously keeps you focusing what really matters and keeps you from distraction. Also, it keeps you respectful and tolerant. But most of all it prevents you from complete unnecessary stress. Complete homemade stress! Stress is a desire of the ego that you are better, faster, smarter. It goes along with anxiety and pressure. What’s the sense? It is the desire of the ego… not yours! Not taking yourself so seriously is the main ingredient for compassion. You can be compassionate even though you don’t agree with other people’s opinion or attitude. Again, however others act, speak, treat me is their path but how I react is mine. My reaction is in my responsibility. We all have the same rights to live the way we want to live. So, don’t fulfill the ego’s desire and enjoy the peace within you by following Rule #6.

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In Love and Light

About the Author

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The purpose of my blog is to inspire and to shine a light on the beauty and power of the wonderful being inside your body. You came into this world in order to share what only you can give. Remember who you really are, conquer the world the way you always wanted, and become the blessing for all of us you were meant to be.

37 Comments

An excellent post of self analysis of stepping back to observe reassess and reevaluate our thoughts and the actions of others..
Many I feel who share their every waking moment on social media sharing their every action of their day perhaps are in need of love, as their own lack of self love and insecurities and who are. As they seek approval and praise of others..

Wayne Dyer as you know is one of my all time favourite wisdom keepers.. And his legacy will live long into the future…
Wonderfully inspiring post dear Erika.. ❀
Much love dearest friend πŸ’œπŸ™πŸ’–

Liked by 1 person

That’s exactly what I thought when I let it sink and the first reflexive thought dissolved. You don’t know in what need they are or what lack they experience and maybe it is healing for them to at least have this platform to share their lives or what is important to them.
Yes, he, his wisdom, and teachings will endure. He is one of those “masters” or “mentors” who will go down in history.
Lots of love, dear Sue πŸ’–πŸ’–

Liked by 1 person

What a wonderful rule to remember and to live by! I laughed out loud at the social media madness experience. I’ve learned to scroll on by anything that does not interest me or that is negative in any way. Thanks for sharing, Erika. I’ll always remember this rule!

Liked by 1 person

Haha, I hoped that many would react like you. It is so ridiculous when you look at this social media mania from a distance. I am the same, scrolling on, unfollowing some of those who are flooding the platform, or only going there when looking for something specific.
Thanks a lot for your comment, Jan. I think following that rule would bring a lot of relaxation to society.

Liked by 1 person

It’s hopefully something I’ve slowly learnt over the years. Basically I’m a muppet, so embrace the inner muppet and just be yourself. That kinda kicks the ego out.
Masks should be viewed as wearing a seatbelt now. Certainly until the science catches up with the pesky virus.

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I think we all need to be reminded at times. Too fast we forget once we are caught in our daily (little or bigger) struggles. I love how you put it, Gary. “Basically I’m a muppet, so embrace the inner muppet and just be yourself. That kinda kicks the ego out.” Would you allow me to safe your statement for a quote?
I think so too regarding the masks. It is such a little thing we can do for others and for keeping the virus under control. And it is only a matter of getting used to it. I am wearing masks in my therapy practice, in the public transportation and whenever I am at crowded places. It is ok, it is the time now to do it. Only closing our eyes doesn’t make it go away!

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That is very kind of you, Gary! I appreciate it a lot.
Yes, over here unfortunately too. But most people do adjust reasonably at least. It will be with us for a while and we better get used to it to keep the spreading under control.

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I’m rejoicing for rule #6 and what an impact can do! Your posts always have a impact on me. I feel as a writer that is a goal, to connect the reader, to feel resonance. You my dear have accomplished that. So much love to youπŸ’–

Liked by 1 person

Erika, extremely well conceived and done! This is much needed advice. There is a lesson I learned that I passed along to my children.

“No one has to do anything for you. Remember to thank the ones who do.”

The large majority of people think they are better than average, yet that is not possible. Just think of how people react to a performance review that says they “Meet expectations.” If everyone is above average, the average is arbitrarily raised.

Keith

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Oh, you are speaking from my heart. I participated in contests several times (yes, I won all of them) but I don’t do it anymore. It doesn’t matter whether the majority or the minority likes something. It does matter that someone likes what I have to share. And what a blessing to bring light to someone’s heart with what I do.
Everybody is important but no one is more important than another one. That is all we need to know. We don’t know why someone is in hectic and I must not judge it from my restricted point of view. That’s why I am thankful (as you said in your beautiful statement) if someone steps back for me and I love the feeling if I can do it for someone else. But when we are in our daily routines we (or at least I) forget to quickly…
Thank you for your comment, Keith. Would you allow me to quote you with your statement?

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That was the one thing that really blew my socks off when I finally understood my fear Ericka…once I realised it was the fear that kept me in that constant babble in my head and the ‘need’ to check, recheck or have to be a part of something…I let it all go.
It was only that unknown of who I really was, the holding onto all those doubts of ‘what if’s, should I shouldn’t I etc’, and negativities that I held of myself, could all be traced back to that fear. Once I understood why I did what I did from that fear…I let go and all those things that used to hold me in its thrall no longer had any power over me…and I was finally free.
I can see its purpose so it will ask us to keep looking within, so we can eventually understand and break free. And most certainly to ‘Stop taking myself so goddamn seriously!!’ and really enjoy life to the full πŸ˜€ ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹ πŸ˜‚ 🀣

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Isn’t it crazy that fear can also be seen as kind of “selfish”? The thought of fear keeps us locked up in our own world which means, we can only see our own world, only judge from this little world but think we know it all and that is why we are fearful… such a paradox!

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It does at that dear lady. It’s like when we point the finger at someone accusing them of causing us grief, we eventually see that it is our fear that is holding us there. Those beautiful friends, even though they may not realise it, are asking us to step out of our world…and be free πŸ˜€
Wise words dear lady. Hand in hand with your work you’ll heal many of those inner worlds indeed ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹

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That was one of my biggest insights. Those who challenged me the most caused my most important developments. Once I understood that, I was in peace with them, could forgive, and actually developed gratitude!
Thank you for your lightful words, Mark πŸ’–

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