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,” reölies 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.”
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).
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 detailed😈😄). 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.
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!
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.
In Love and Light