Norma Jean: What Other People Think of You

The weird thing about human relationships is the obvious fact that everybody we know experiences us differently, determined by the level and nature of the relationship we share with them. A friend of mine visiting from out of town spotted the "I Am Curious" invitation on the kitchen table. Her mouth dropped open as she fearfully lifted it, she uttered: "Where did you get this thing? Are you going to this party?" It took but a few moments of reading over the invite to fully realize that it was I who was hosting this event. She repeated my name and shook her head. "How can you handle this? Wow, I can't imagine this. Are you into this stuff?"She and I share single parenting and a glamorous history in Los Angeles. She couldn't imagine that I had the interest or ability to throw a fetish party. Other friends of mine (ex-boyfriends mostly) think I'm out whipping people on a nightly basis with some ferocious vendetta to punish men; -- totally their fantasy and projection. Some think I'm out getting my heart broken or keeping one nostril above water in the surviving life department. Others consider me highly accomplished and confident, while there are those who wonder how I haven't gone under long ago. Go figure. There are people within immediate circles of friends who vastly differ in their opinions of what you are all about -- your issues, your strengths and weaknesses, even your character traits. A shrew to one is a generous soul to another. A kooky flake to someone is an artistic inspiration to another. It's obvious we mirror different selves to different people. Opinions and evaluations by others mean diddly-squat in the big picture, about as much as a morning rain shower. Once understood, this truth frees you to concentrate on the only game in town: knowing, loving and honoring the self.If you're a slave to the judgments of others, you're a fool and spend way too much time flapping in the winds of frivolous opinions. Life is fraught with cycles and phases, of ups and downs. One day we're beaming and centered, the next disseminated and fragile. Judging ourselves or others on a day-to-day basis is a waste of energy and misdirected focus. In others words, lighten up. Drop the rigid image of yourself and embrace the fact that we each exhibit aspects of the entire spectrum of human qualities at one time or another. We're all in the same boat sharing the same origin and the exact same destination.When the shit hits the fan at the workplace and you're fighting for your life, or all your friends seem to turn against you, relax. The clouds inevitably disperse, and the tight hold of the ego loosens. Tables always turn.Temporary flare-ups, disagreements and conflicts facilitate us in seeing "the play of consciousness," so to speak. I guess if we can cheerfully participate in the hell of life, we'll all have a lot more fun.Enjoying Maya,

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