I used to think that if I made the initiative to make people feel loved whether they appreciate it or not, or to just be good to those who let me down was putting me into a fragile state. So, knowing me, I would let my pride rule. I wouldn't care about you, if you didn't care about me as well. I would not make the effort at all. No wonder my happiness has been put into the hands of others, because I let them dictate how I should react based on how they treat me. In the end, I have just become like these very same people I do not want to be. I'm glad that Ryan Holiday's book, "Ego is the enemy" has made me look at my personal struggles in a different perspective.
It is funny how when I look back at my mistakes—stubbornness to fix something even when it wasn't my fault but I was involved with in one way or another, pride, and the unwillingness to just let go of people who have hurt me without going through the cycle of stressing, hating, and crying—I have realized I was still an infant. I have a lot of things to learn yet.
It was in this moment of what felt like a rock bottom, although I have been to rock bottom after rock bottom, that it dawned upon me that people do whatever they want to do regardless if you care about them and love them; that most of the time, your best work won't get recognized; and even your efforts of trying to save something from utter destruction will be taken with a pinch of salt. For most of us, we'll feel defeated and angry. How could they just not learn how to appreciate right? And when our ego and anger get the best of us, we'll end up doing the same things they did as well. We will ultimately become indifferent. Worse, we will become like an asshole as well, since what's the sense of trying? In one way or another, the more we try, the more we lose whatever we've been trying not to lose so hard.
But that's the point.
Trying or doing the right things should not be based on others. Our identity shouldn't be tied to the outcome of our efforts too, because if it is, it will cause us a lot of sufferring.
Rather, we should do the efforts based on our own standards. It doesn't matter whether we end up rejected or mocked at—it's on them. They cannot hurt us when we measure the results based on the standards we have for ourselves. This is what I had failed to learn for a long time.
This is not to say as well to keep trying with the same actions or efforts even when you know the situation is losing. Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
So, where do we draw the line?
Do the effort. Do the right thing as much as possible. Then, leave it at that. If it turns out that your efforts have been fruitless, go back to basics. Focus on yourself. Let go of trying so hard again to fix or save something that cannot be helped. The important thing is you showed up even when others did not. Now, it's time to show up for yourself and come up with a different plan of actions.
The lesson for this is actually simple: Do not be hardened by the world. Do not become those people who have hurt you. Do the right things because they are right and that's your own standard. Let go when it's a losing battle. Let go with love and forgiveness. Remember it's not because of them, it's for you. As long as you did your best or the effort it is enough.
As I was writing this, I was listening to Lany's newest song called, “Malibu Nights”and it was a sad song. There is a line that says, “The feeling that I've never known. Dealing with this on my own.” That feeling that he's never known? It's the broken heart.
You might think that the song has no relevance to what this article is all about, but it is clear to me that he feels broken-hearted, because his efforts to hold on and save the relationship have gone sour. Now, it leads us back to the very same lesson again: As long as you did your best or effort, it's enough.
But it's so unfair!
It's not when you switch your perspective, and the way you perceive something can either make you or break you. Choose the one that will make you.
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Namaste and keep growing,
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