Does The Media Have A Negative Impact On The Way We View Ourselves?
It depends; the media certainly has a role to play in the negative impact on the way someone views themselves, but provided that person is influenced by the media.
Television, Internet, newspapers, magazines, radio, bill-boards, social media – all of these bombard information through images, news and personal interactions in such a manner that it gets into one’s mind and deeply influences their psyche.
For instance, so that people yearn to buy their products, advertisements make the viewers feel as if they are lacking in a lot of aspects. Upon reading articles in newspapers, magazines and internet, people infer how their personalities, mannerisms, talents or achievements ought to be and a war sets in their minds between what is and what should be. A feeling sinks in that, ‘I am bad at this, I am not good in that either, I don’t know this, I don’t know that too”; and it soon tells upon their confidence. So many persons put up posts about themselves and upload their pics in different outfits and poses so that people press the like button on them. This makes them feel validated and appreciated. But when somebody doesn’t respond to their posts as per their expectations, they get anxious or depressed as they begin to think that they are not good enough.
All of the above ultimately culminates into a negative impact on those who always think about what other people think about them and who are always worried about approval from others.
How should one handle this negative impact?
The Enlightened One explains,
While you feel that the other people are thinking so about you, have you experienced anything of that actually happening in your present life anytime? No, we are just believing that it is so. It is only our imagination that people will think like this about me. We are just imagining that he is behaving like this with me, he is thinking like that about me, really it is not happening. People are worried for their problems, not for us; they are not thinking regarding us. So, don’t worry for what others are feeling; don’t think about ‘what would they be thinking for me?’ Don’t bother for that.
You just see the pure Soul (God) in everybody. When any evidence comes (such that you feel what would they think about me), you decide that you want to finish this (whatever has emerged within you) with equanimity. John (please insert your name here) is separate, I am pure Soul (the real Self). So keep this awareness. Automatically, your intellect and mind, that is showing you what impression other people have for me, will reduce and it will go away.
We can practice what the Enlightened One says, in its true meaning, only after having attained Self-Realization. And in the presence of the Enlightened One, Self-Realization can be attained very easily, directly with His grace!!!
Thereafter, in his shelter, by practicing his words, we shall become so strong that forget media, no one and nothing in this world could have any negative impact on us. Gradually, the need to impress others will be gone! And with the right understanding that we gain from the Enlightened One, life shall become easy and happy as we stop trying hard to be something that we are not, just to make others adore / like us; as we willingly take off all our masks and embrace the real Self (the Soul) within; as we begin to work on liberating ourselves from all illusions rather than getting stuck in false beliefs and lying to ourselves when using all kinds of excuses to defend / save our image in front of people; as we diligently persevere to release ourselves from the habit of judging and condemning people, the very source from where the fear of what will others think about me emerges. And when all of this happens, people will be drawn to you effortlessly, without you having to do anything!
Hence, let’s go to the Enlightened One and from Him attain Self-Reailzation and the right understanding of how to live our life such that we get liberated from all kinds of sufferings.
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