Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Counting on the Right Things

"No one can build security upon the nobleness of another person. ~ Willa Cather

Not a person alive has escaped being hurt or disappointed by someone they trusted. It is a universal experience on planet earth. It hurts to be betrayed or mistreated. It is painful and it requires energy and attention to skillfully move through such an experience. It does not, however, need to devastate us.

I love this quote by Willa Cather because it reveals the secret to dealing with people who mistreat you, let you down or betray your trust. The key is to not build our security, our sense of self, or our self worth on how other people treat us.

What people do to us is a reflection of THEM... it doesn't say anything at all about US. We get into trouble when we take the misguided actions of other people personally - as though they somehow tell us something about our worth.

When we make other people's opinions of us, or how they treat us, a causative factor in determining our feelings about ourselves, we are putting ourselves in a perilous place.

There will always be people in our lives who treat us poorly from time to time. It's a fact of life. Some will be close to us, others will be just passing through. None of it feels good, but it doesn't mean anything about us.

We cannot place our security or our self image in the hands of another person, just because we want to believe in their goodness. We can think the best of people, treat them well, and even when they don't treat us well, we can still feel fine about ourselves and our future!