"What will the neighbors think?" That seemed to be the main concern of my parents when I was growing up.
As much as I rebelled against it at the time, and as much as that concern always felt like bondage to me, and as much as I really did see it as an example of how NOT to live, I still internalized the message that it matters VERY MUCH what other people think of me.
What I realize now is that being so concerned with what the neighbors and other people thought of us back then meant we were denying our own inner guidance and our own right to choose the best way to live and especially our own right to choose what feels good to us.
"What will the neighbors think" morphed into what will anyone and everyone - except me - think about me!!! Believing that I was constantly being judged and that it was extremely important not to be judged negatively, my connection with my True Self became tenuous at best.
While I remained in the prison of what other people think of me, my external guidance was playing at full volume and my inner guidance was often set on mute.
"It's just about being you and being cool with that." - Carmine Gallo
Subtly and stealthily, I learned to let the way other people felt about me determine how I felt about myself. Which lead to trying to get other people - especially significant others - to like me so I could like myself.
Can you imagine? Trying to get other people to like and approve of me in order to like and approve of myself!
Well, it made sense at the time. Actually, it never made sense. It just became the game I was playing. The impossible game of trying to feel good about myself while believing it matters desperately what other people think of me!
When I first heard Abraham's guidance to not give a rip what other people think, I was thrilled at the idea but I had no clue where to begin.
I had always liked the aphorism "happiness is an inside job" and decided to figure out what that actually means. I finally - halleluiah! - started looking inside to feel good. There were shaky starts and setbacks, but my True Self continued to call me to feel good from the inside out.
I set intentions, recited affirmations and practiced new beliefs. Most importantly, I made friends with my Inner Being and decided if my Inner Being and I feel good about me, that's enough for me.
Now, with rare exceptions, I celebrate each day that:
I Feel Good from the Inside Out and
I No Longer Need Other People or Circumstances
To Make Me Feel Good!
And that, my friend, is #freedom!