Be The Rain
Some people get annoyed, some want to run out and dance in it, some get worried and some want to stay home and play “doctor”. However, people’s reaction to the rain isn’t the fascinating part to me; the fascinating part is the fact that the rain doesn’t stop for any reason other than completing its job is the fascinating part. The rain doesn’t care about your situation, feelings, opinions, desires, plans or anything else about you or me. It just rains. It has a job to do and it does it well.
Of course, you already know that.
However, here’s where I think differently than most others: Human Beings are designed to operate exactly the same way as the rain does. Think about it: babies don’t care about anyone’s feelings when they want something. They just cry and scream, yet we love them to pieces. You could say that they can’t talk so that’s all they can do. You would be right, but you’d be missing the point.
Anyway, let’s look at toddlers. They love you, hug you, kiss you and all that stuff but the minute they want something they let you know about it and they don’t care how you feel or what you’re doing – you need to get it for them NOW!
OK, you could say that they’re young and don’t have much life experience. You’d again be correct. However, I hope you’re seeing a pattern here. Adolescents pretty much do what they want too, just not quite as much. Why? Because they’ve been “domesticated” by Parents, Teachers, Religious Folk and pretty much all grown ups to follow instructions, do as they’re told, etc., and begin to take on the characteristics of grown ups – which is not always a good thing.
Interestingly, when I was in the middle of writing this piece, I came across a quote from an anonymous teen who described adults this way: “They shouldn’t be called Grown Ups – they should be called Given Ups!” Occasionally, we meet people who couldn’t care less what we think of them. They just live their life. Many of us admire them for it. Others don’t like them very much. Then, there are those who don’t even notice them or have an opinion one way or another. What’s fascinating about people who don’t care whether others like them or not is that generally, most people actually do like them.
They’re just doing what they’re doing – just like the rain.
In other words, the best way to have people like you is to not care whether people like you or not. It’s counter intuitive but true. Here’s why:
1) No one knows what’s best for you better than you do. Even your parents, teachers or therapists don’t know what’s best for you, really. You can get their help in identifying what’s best for you but really, that job is ultimately yours alone to decide, declare and live. Succumbing to what others want you to do robs you of your power, robs the world of your greatest contribution and unless stopped, will be the biggest regret of your life.
By “Being The Rain”, you cause others to have to deal with and make adjustments to you rather than the other way around. People will respect and admire you for being true to yourself. When you live your truth as authentically, kind and straightforward as you possibly can, everyone benefits.
2) If you like yourself, you won’t need the approval of others and you won’t seek it either because you approve of yourself. Others won’t feel manipulated into having to like you or you’ll break down and cry. People don’t realize how much pressure they put on others to like them. Those on the receiving end of that pressure feel trapped, like they have no choice. They end up resenting us for it.
Also, we don’t realize how much pressure we put on ourselves to have others like us. We end up resenting ourselves because we’ll do things that aren’t something we really want to do; we end up sacrificing our own sense of integrity and sell out our values to be liked. That doesn’t work – we end up feeling weak and guilty, create a reputation with ourselves as unworthy, apologetically survive life by eating scraps and crumbs that fell on the floor from the banquet table of life rather than enjoying the feast on the table in the seat you were born to sit in called life.
3) No one can like or love you more than you like or love yourself. Said another way, you won’t LET ANYONE like or love you more than you like or love yourself. If they do, you’d basically call them stupid, clueless or a liar because you’d be thinking, “If they really knew me, they wouldn’t like me.” You don’t want to be wrong about how “right” you are about how messed up you are so you end up making them wrong instead. This leaves you with only 4 options:
They agree with you and leave because they want to be with a better partner than you
They agree with you and stay because they want to beat up on someone like you
They disagree with you and leave, disappointed because they see you as greater than you see yourself and they can’t bear to watch you harm yourself anymore
They disagree with you and leave after continuously feeling invalidated by you because you won’t let them make a difference with you or they care more about your happiness than you do
Ultimately, no one can do for you what you won’t do for yourself. Self esteem and self love is an inside job. Whenever I’m faced with tough choices, I listen to my heart and then look to the sky as I think about the rain. I do this as a way to identify my truth and then live it.
If you’re nervous, confused or scared because you don’t know what to do, trust your heart. If you sell yourself out, everyone loses – especially you.
So, “Rain” your blessings down upon us. Some of us may not like getting wet but all of us like drinking water.