How much should you tell other people about what is really important to you? Should you broadcast your dreams to everyone in hopes that others will honor your intentions and support you? Or would you be wiser to keep your visions to yourself and avoid debilitating criticism?
You have probably had the experience of sharing a fresh insight, experience or project with someone, only to be met with an icy, insensitive response.
“I tried that and it didn’t work.” “You will put yourself at risk.” “That would cost too much to produce and nobody would buy it.” Nothing is more daunting than someone throwing cold water on your hot dreams. Then you walk away from the conversation feeling deflated and defeated.
I am amazed at how obtuse people can be when offered an opportunity to support someone. I visited a friend in the hospital who had had a very minor surgery. A relative in the room said, “I know someone who died of what you have.” One of my coaching clients told her husband she wanted to take a yoga class. He laughed and told her she was on her way to Jonestown. When I self-published my first book using my mother’s life savings, the publisher’s agent told me, “They say you don’t make any money until your third book.” (The book went on to be a bestseller.)
Jesus was a master metaphysician who understood the power of thoughts and words. He instructed, “Cast not pearls before swine,” meaning to not offer sensitive, lofty ideas to people who will not understand, and gobble them up. After he performed a certain healing, he told the recipient, “Tell no man.” Jesus understood that if that man broadcast his experience publicly before the healing was solidified, negative observers would cast doubts and skepticism upon him so as to weaken or undo the healing. Better to wait until the healing was gelled in his subconscious; then the opinions of others could not unstitch his advancement.
A yogi told me, “When you plant a seedling in a field where cows are grazing, set a fence around the little plant to protect it from cows eating or trampling it. Later, when the seedling has grown large and sturdy, you can remove the fence, and the cows will have a magnificent tree they can rub up against and rest under its shade.”
Does the injunction to safeguard sensitive projects mean we should be neurotically secretive about what is important to us? No, it just means we should be discerning when choosing the people we share our visions with. If you know that someone loves and supports you, that would be a good person to include in your vision. Some people attend mastermind groups in which they meet weekly with a few positive friends to share exciting ideas and get behind each other for success. Cultivate and fertilize the soil in which you plant your valued seeds.
Let’s say you share a sensitive project at an early stage and someone throws a dagger of negation at it. Does that mean the project has been killed? Not at all. You can use the experience to make your project stronger. Use the criticism as motivation to go within and affirm the value, power and potential of your project. In homeopathy and immunization, patients take small doses of viruses that would kill them in larger doses. The body then develops antibodies that prevent the disease from overcoming them should it return. “What does not kill me makes me stronger.”
No person, no matter how negative or virulent they are, has the power to thwart your project or remove your good. That power belongs only to you. If someone judges or attacks you, consider them an angel reflecting to you your own beliefs, doubts or fears so you can recognize and heal them. If you get upset or cave in when someone criticizes you, you must agree with that person. If you didn’t, the criticism would not disturb you. Your issue is not with the other person. It is with yourself. Find the hidden self-doubt or judgment, confront it, hold it up to the light, and heal it with a greater truth. Because light is more powerful than darkness, you must succeed.
As we enter the holiday season, you may have some juicy opportunities to discern who to share your sensitive truth with, and how to deal with people who judge or criticize you. Don’t shy away from these opportunities. Use each one to practice remembering your beauty, power, and worth, and that of your valued projects.
Motivational master Jim Rohn said,
“If you really want something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you will find an excuse.”
Don’t use fear or others’ negative opinions as an excuse to not move ahead. Don’t let people into your visions if they don’t match your intention. Love and support your visions like a pregnant woman would diligently protect and care for the soul in her womb. Then your progeny will grow into powerful, mature, successful adults.
Everyone is your teacher. Some teach through loving support, and others teach through challenge. Become a spiritual master by using the power of the word to your highest advantage.
Alan Cohen is the author of A Course in Miracles Made Easy: Mastering the Journey from Fear to Love. Join Alan and friends in Hawaii, Feb 26-March 2, 2018, for a rare retreat, Unplugged. Put your devices aside for a few days, liberate yourself from technology, and reconnect with yourself and your life. For more information about this program, Alan’s books and videos, free daily inspirational quotes, online courses, and weekly radio show, visit www.alancohen.com.