Week 4 – Ya Down With Y.P.P?
Our theme for the month continues to be “Accepting and Finding Comfort in YOU.” We have discussed in the past 3 weeks how to do this by Finding Comfort In Who You Are, by Caring Less What They Think, and by finding Love For the Haters. Today we want to talk about Y.P.P. – Your Personal Perception.
Back in1991, the Hip Hop group Naughty By Nature had a song out entitled “O.P.P”. I remember seeing t-shirts with this title and guys using this as a catch phrase to flirt with girls. The chorus was a catchy flow that went, “Ya down with O.P.P? Yeah you know me”. The lyrics of the song explained that “O.P.P” stands for different things depending on your gender. The first two words are “Other People’s,” but for guys, the last P is a “five-letter word rhyming with cleanest and meanest”. For girls, it’s “Another way to call a cat a kitten.” At the end of the song, they kept it clean by saying the last P stands for “Property.” From an enlightenment standpoint O.P.P could also mean – Other People’s Perception.
For the purpose of our brief discussion today, we want encourage you to be down with Y.P.P- Your Personal Perception. Don’t be concerned with other people’s perception. Be more concerned with your own perception of yourself.
Disclaimer: We are not suggesting to live a life of completely not caring about what people think (although we do agree, that would probably serve you well), remember the previous blog post talked about caring LESS what they think, it didn’t say not caring at all.
We live in a group society where we have to interact and exchange ourselves one with another. The fact is other people’s perceptions are important. First impressions do count, and people’s perceptions of you affect the alliances they choose to form with you, the way they treat you, and the expectations they have of you. You got the job you’re working on right now based on someone’s perception when they interviewed you. The business that you run is based on the relationships you established which was based on somebody’s perception of you. You had to care to some degree about what your significant other thought about you, or else you probably wouldn’t be together. We get every tangible thing we have from other people. So it stands to reason that O.P.P. is important to some degree. However if you allow other people’s perceptions to dictate your own life’s agenda, or more importantly if you allow it to determine or dictate WHO YOU ARE, that’s when it becomes unhealthy.
Let your perception of yourself be what’s most important. How do you want to be perceived by you? How do you want to be perceived by others? These two should be the same, but often they are not, because as you evolve on your personal path of alignment and enlightenment, people will tend to hang on to the “old” you. Why? Because it’s who and what they have come to know. It’s more comfortable for them to engage you from that old perspective and very uncomfortable figuring out how to address this new person who doesn’t really give a rip what others think.
Quick story- An ex of mine had this perception of me as a very confrontational, antagonistic, against the grain type of person. Not only did she see me that way, but so did her children. Likewise pretty much everybody that knew me at that time, had that same perception of me. I had established that persona based on my behavior. That was me. When I began to dislike that person and desired to change, very few people were able to accept the new person and had a hard time adapting their previously longstanding perceptions. I now see it as sort of a “perceptual imprinting” that takes place when relationships are initially established. My ex-girlfriend straight-up stated to me one day… “I like the old Edward better, he seemed to care more.” And this was based on my unwillingness to engage with her or anyone else anymore in matters that drew me out of alignment.
When you begin to accept your own and be your true authentic self, people will have challenges. Those who don’t know you will accept you better for who and what you are mainly because they have no other reference point, while oftentimes the people who have known you longest will have the greatest obstacles. Again that’s more about THEIR misalignment with THEMSELVES – not yours.
We can’t control how others see us. But being conscious of how we’re perceived — and most importantly whether it meshes with how we see ourselves — can lend to a greater awareness and consciousness of self. Be down with Y.P.P!
“He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.” – Raymond Hull