Heartwings says, “What is perceived may alter what is received.”
As a very young child, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered, “I want to be married and I want to be famous.” How I knew or even if I knew what these meant is unknown to me now, however it is definitely what I said. I am married, and counting my first time, I have been married for sixty-seven of my nearly 87 years. I am happy to say I have no regrets.
As to the second, being famous, I have to decide what is meant by that. Being recognized in the supermarket as the author of a newspaper column might to some people mean being famous. Having kind things said about that column is equally nice. Being told by a reader that you have been helpful in some way is gratifying to hear. Does it mean I am famous? I don’t know. I can say that these experiences satisfy my initial desire to be famous. In other words, I’m sufficiently famous to suit me.
However, while these are pleasant experiences, something I have learned is not to dwell on feedback from others. My eldest daughter and I had a recent conversation about this. She was saying it was not her habit to base her self-value on feedback. I told her I loved that thought and would steal it, because I agree. I have learned that lesson more than once and have the stories to prove it. As far as I can determine, what people see in anyone else most often depends on the personal filters through which they perceive that person. We all have them; the trick is to be aware of them.
Years ago, I learned that if people praised me, it was because of what they liked about me, or what I had done for them or another. If they criticized me, they probably didn’t approve of what I had done or how they saw me.Their opinion was what influenced their response. I must admit it’s nicer to be praised than blamed, yet both are in the eye of the beholder. This was a new level in detachment for me. I had learned to be detached from possessions, now it was time to be detached from opinions both good and bad. I appreciated that lesson.
I myself must be the judge of how I am doing. I am the only one who really can tell how I am measuring up to my own standards. Being honest with myself, I can see my value to myself as well as to others. When I honor my efforts, recognize my efforts as worthy, and feel good about them, then I will have been successful, regardless of the result. We cannot all win the blue ribbon, but we can all try. And when we do, then we have succeeded.
May you enjoy success in your own eyes, whatever you try to do.
Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert
PS I treasure your comments and enjoy your communications. Do let me know what you think; I promise to respond. Please do write to me at Tashahal@gmail.com