Worrying about what other people think of you is hardwired. However it doesn’t and mustn’t prevent you being, thinking and living originally, authentically and creatively, as failing to do so means you’re depriving yourself of the fullness of the gift life is presenting you with – and that would be rude.
This doesn’t imply going into denial and pretending you don’t care what other people think.
What it does mean is understanding that the level at which we judge each other is illusory. All this is the Tao manifesting itself in myriad versions through us – it’s theatre to amuse and entertain the Tao. And it’s the Tao playing all the parts itself, wearing different faces to do so.
It makes it totally convincing so each of its manifestations (you and I and everyone else) actually believes itself to be an individuated entity. It has to do this or the theatre would get swiftly boring for it and it has to hang out for eternity so needs to make its theatre good enough to last.
But theatre it remains in essence so the opinions of others, or more usually, your assumptions and projections of the opinions of others, are essentially meaningless.
The local self, the disguise, naturally cares, but the universal self, the Tao behind the disguise, just laughs.
And as long as your heart is filled with the intention to spread and share love and the innate joy of being alive, your actions will all ultimately bear good fruit no matter how convoluted the way there may become at times.
In short, hold a loving intention, be who you are and disregard the opinions of others and be who you are. This facilitate a far more wonderful life for you and by extension and in the fullness of time, those around you, and in any case it’s your divinely ordained duty.
Through your originality and creativity the Tao finds its fullest expression through and within you.
Knowing yourself intrinsically to be an expression of the Tao in human form, yet also honoring the illusion of your everyday self and the everyday world, requires a strong sense of self-fullness. Your consciousness must feel firmly anchored to your physical presence and be inhabiting all parts of your body simultaneously not just your brain and sense organs. Thus spread, it naturally organizes itself around three main concentrations, whence it spreads and circulates most effectively: the lower belly around the navel, the middle of the chest and the center of the brain. The lower concentration commands your survival faculties. The uppermost concentration commands your faculty for bearing witness. But the middle concentration commands your faculty for humanizing the experience – the passion, the love, the caring, the yearning, the sense of being you.
To stimulate this concentration and thereby elicit a palpable increase of healthy self-fullness, look at your right palm, then trace a line from the little finger up that side of the forearm, all the way up to the medial (inside) aspect of the elbow joint, where you’ll find a small bony but friendly protuberance. Now run your thumb just distal (down towards the hand from) to that bony knob and press into the tendon there. You’ll feel an exquisite ache. Hold it for twenty seconds and repeat on the other arm.
Within moments you’ll feel a subtle rush of warmth into the chest and with that a greatly enhanced sense of self. And within no more than 24 hours or so, you’ll also notice you’re worrying far less about what others think of you, in fact you don’t even give a fig.
May you grow so powerful and beautiful in your self-fullness you truly don’t give a fig.