Receiving Praise v Rejection
So you would love to play the piano, and you are aware that being ridiculed or criticised in some way is stopping you?
Perhaps you were playing, at any level, and somehow the comments of other people, rattled you and you now don’t play?
This whole thing about expressing ourselves, the truth of who we are, and playing a musical instrument potentially brings comments from other people.
Do you feel that it’s alright only if people make positive comments? Is it bad if people ridicule you, or criticise you, or reject you?
What if I said that the way to move forward with strength, is to learn to be neutral about other people’s comments?
That is, learn to not react to other people’s opinions of your self-expression. It would be understandable to seek praise and feel warm and fussy from adulation or appreciation.
Where I have come to in my journey of navigating these things, is to stay neutral. Why?
At the end of the day, in the privacy of my own mind and heart, I know where I am at in my expression. I know the truth. I know what kind of performance I gave. I know what my inner ‘set point’ is.
If I allow praise or rejection or expectations of other people to shift that set point, I am lost to myself.
The path I am on becomes no longer my own.
Therefore, the healthy response to praise or rejection is…. “thank you”.
Simple as that.
And then we return to our own path.
Coming back to my senses has for many years now been an important part of my self-care. There is a certain feeling I experience that tells me it’s time to be in nature or just resting at home. It’s time to come back to me, to my feelings – to align myself again. Switch the world off for a while.
There was a time when Sunday was considered the day of rest. This makes perfect sense to me. One day a week to be still and catch up with myself, get off the conveyor belt of life, feel what I am feeling, check in with myself, nurture myself.
It seems that good self-care is very much about being honest with myself about what I am feeling, and accepting myself in that moment. Then, lovingly navigating my way through it.
Feelings, self-care and self-love go together.
Of course, it’s often painful, and sometimes excruciating in all of our human messy fallibility.
Sometimes though, feelings are such a warm glorious companion, I wouldn’t want to be without them.
We dehumanise ourselves when we choose to live in our head instead of our heart.
We say no to the rich tapestry of feelings available to us and then experience meaninglessness and emptiness.
In his book ‘Care of the Soul – a guide for cultivating depth and sacredness in everyday life’ Thomas Moore writes that when soul is neglected, it appears as symptoms. Obsessions. Addictions. Violence. Loss of meaning. When we care for our soul we more and more experience deep satisfaction and pleasure. Our life becomes more and more meaningful and fulfilling life. This book irrevocably changed my life for the better.
Wishing you a more soulful life,