— Sri Aurobindo (via lazyyogi)
itsamondster said: How do I handle being a social pariah?
A social pariah is defined by the treatment of others. It has nothing to do with you but rather how others perceive you.
The key is in the word “social.” If there were no society, there would be no possibility of being a social pariah.
In this respect, there is nothing for you to handle. You are not a social pariah. You are You.
There are as many perceptions of you as there are people to have them. Due to our belief in objective existence, we often assume that others have the potential to know us better than we can know ourselves. This is because they can see us from the outside.
Such a perspective is the epitome of illusion. Looking to the eyes of strangers to tell you who you are is a no win game. This is why it is important to make self-knowledge a priority. If you don’t bother to know yourself without the context of changeful identities, experiences, and thoughts, then you’ll fall for whatever identity is thrust upon you.
However, if your question also includes poor treatment at the hands of others, then that’s another matter to address.
Whatever “reason” a person gives for behaving in a manner so as to degrade or harm others, it is a lie. The only reason is ignorance. If people treat you poorly, it isn’t because you are a social pariah. It is because they have an ignorance in their perceptual mind that obscures true sight.
If you let such treatment from others get you down, then there will be no end to the burdens this life will thrust on you. If you react in such a way so as to become aggressive and resentful, then you will have a hard time finding happiness. And if you isolate yourself and try to get away from it all, what little peace you may find will still depend on changeful conditions.
Your best option and opportunity, in my opinion, is to meet this challenge as often as it arises.
Here are a few oversimplified steps to which to return when necessary:
1. Accept. Instead of wishing or wanting this moment, your circumstances, or the people around you to be different, just say “Okay.” Make the conscious decision to work with what you are being given.
2. Be still. This follows from acceptance. Let go of the idea that you must do or get rid of something in order for your life/identity to be whole and at ease. Don’t cling to an idea of happiness; don’t push away an idea of suffering.
3. Breathe. When you are confronted with the harshness of others, first accept and be still. Then breathe. Inhale all of your awful feelings that are arising. Breathe in your pain deeply. Then exhale peace, ease, and love. Not directed toward anyone but simply scattering it thoughtlessly, like burning a stick of incense in the wind and allowing the radiant scent to be carried wherever the wind wills it.
4. See. Recognize what is happening both in yourself and in the person confronting you. What is making them say the things they are saying? What sort of place are they speaking from? Do they seem sane, happy, and at peace? Or do they seem like they are trying to defend/elevate themselves while attacking/deploring you? Really try to understand not just what is being said and how you feel about it but also the delusion from which the other person is speaking and the confusion at its root.
5. Forgive. We are not our ignorance. Often we want to punish others for their ignorance because we were once punished, ridiculed, or otherwise shamed for our own ignorance in the past. But who we are and who others are have nothing to do with changeful appearances. Ignorance, despite its profound impact on our sanity and happiness, is merely another changeful appearance. It has no inherent existence or identity. When you can honestly and sincerely forgive the ignorance in others, you will also be willing to do so for your own ignorance now, in the past, and in the future.
As it is said, “To understand everything is to forgive everything.”
Daily meditation and tonglen practice is essential. Don’t wait for when you feel capable or when it’s “working.” Practice every day regardless of outcome or experience. Only then will you notice the change. If you don’t work at it then neither will the practices and nothing can be said through words that will help you.
I would also suggest you read and a make a guide of the book The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron.
Above all else, you should want to surpass this challenge while still allowing love and inspiration to move your moment. “Winning” a social challenge but losing your love and therefore sanity is nothing but continued suffering.
Namaste my friend :) Much love
lazyyogi droppin’ wisdom like nobody’s business. Love this.
Men want us to kiss them with beards, suck their dicks and kiss their balls with pubes, hug them with hairy arm pits, intwine our legs with hairy thighs, but if women have one hair on our body that isn’t on our head it’s disgusting
And this is one of the many reasons why I am grateful for my partner, because he couldn’t give less of a shit if I shave my armpits, pubes, or legs.
I stopped looking at “fitspiration” because optimal health is not something that you can photograph. It’s something you feel. It’s something that varies from person to person.
I will never have a washboard six-pack. Striving to do so makes me feel shitty about myself. Instead, I aim to make my habits as healthy as possible and to make myself as happy as I can. I build strength by doing activities that are fun, by pushing my own unique limits. I know I am making progress because I make gradual improvements, not because I look any different in the mirror or in photographs.
Don’t judge yourself or compare yourself to others in the name of health. It is so not worth it.