Currently I’m up to my eyes in a conflict resolution. I was asked by this why I was upset with him. I replied with my thoughts and perceptions. His response was to use other people’s thoughts and perceptions about himself in an attempt to invalidate my own.
I freaked out. I began to think things like, “Am I really that far off in how I see myself and how others see me?” It is the most aweful feeling to think that you’re wrong about the one thing you have the most control over. If I were a dude of lesser will, I could see how a feeling like this could easily destroy a person.
The danger lies in letting people shape your self-image too much. I doubt you can totally ignore outside opinion alltogether and be a healthy contributor to society, but each individual opinion needs to be weighed with the opinions of others and against your own opinion.
The thought this leads me to, is that only you have the full picture of your actions. But when I say “only you” I immediatly hear the argument “only you and God”. If this is true, maybe this is what gives him the authority to judge us. But it also implies that God is more like something inside of each of us, and not some thunderbolt throwing god in the sky. Either way, I have to trust myself.