So lately, as many of you on twitter probably already know – you get a direct message from one of your friends with a messages like:
This blog says something REALLY bad about you, you have to see it.. [bogus link]
Now, this maybe be insignificant in many of your lives, but the reaction that I have been noticing to these occurrences in my body and in my heart warrants a post. The main tenet of this post being – What is it in us that so desperately wants to know what others are saying about us?
More importantly, what a genius design for spam, tapping into my deepest core of fear and nervousness that someone, somewhere on the world wide web is talking shit about me.
Now. I know that this is spam. I know it with every single part of my brain, but somewhere in my body this message initiates that prickly, tight-skin, shortness of breath, fuck!-everyone-hates-me-I-KNEW-it kind of feeling. Like the feeling that you might have in middle school when all the other girls are actually talking shit about you.
I know that it is spam, intellectually, but my fingers, as if completely out of the control of my sensibilities, start creeping towards the button.
And my thought process sounds a bit like this:
Maybe just this one time it ISN’T spam. Ugh. What if there really is someone talking badly about me? Mara, examine the evidence – this is obviously spam. But…. I would feel so sad and sick to know that someone thought I was ________ (stupid, wrong, fat, bad, ugly, lame, etc. etc.) But why do you even CARE? People are going to talk shit, and you know it – it means that you’re doing something right. But.. what if they know something about me that I don’t want people to know… What would that even be? Why do I care?
Mind you, this process occurs in approximately 2 seconds, and I am elaborating it here to make a point, which is:
Why do we care so much what other people think about us?
And more importantly – what can we do to tell that little nervous and paranoid voice to can it, and go about our day? How can we remember to dig deep, find our resolve, comfort our tender parts, and decide not to let someone’s opinion inform our own?
How can we resolve to love ourselves so much, and get to a place of such stability, that we can identify our psychic triggers and decide not to let them take us on a wild goose chase through our personal history?
The twitter spam example truly pales in comparison to the way this trigger is used on a much larger scale, every single day. Point blank, advertising preys on our tender parts, the parts that are nervous and worried and yearning for approval. Our ability to love ourselves, unconditionally and unwaveringly, is called into question all the time.
It is how we choose to respond to it that determines the emotional structure of our days, and the happiness or lack-of-happiness that we feel. It is how we decide to respond that makes all the different in calming the nervous, retreating into bad memory after bad memory heart.
Just for today, lets decide to believe that we are worth so much more than that.
What might that look like? How might that feel?