The Golden Rule and The Platinum Rule
We’re all familiar with the “Golden Rule”:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
It’s the very foundation of moral behavior in civil society. All great religious and spiritual traditions have a version of the golden rule as a foundational teaching of right living.
However, when it comes to how we treat ourselves, I believe there is an equally important, but lesser known and rarely followed, companion to the golden rule that I like to call the “platinum rule.” The platinum rule is simply this:
The platinum rule is particularly important when it comes to how we speak to ourselves.
How often do you berate yourself with the vilest of names and insults that you wouldn’t think of saying to someone else? I read an article recently that was making the case for self-worth coming only from the person in the mirror and not from what anyone else says about you. That is a common teaching, and well intentioned, and the part about not letting other people’s opinions and criticism of you determine your self-worth is true. But…The person in the mirror is the last one that should be relied on for your sense of self-worth Click To Tweet
At least the part of the person in the mirror that is doing most of the talking; the personality.
The Voice of the Personality
The personality is not your true self, it only thinks it is. When you think of your identity, you are most likely identifying with your personality- which is your personal collection of beliefs, habits, likes, dislikes, I ams and I am nots, rules, regulations and restrictions which all combine to form your personal safety zone.
So long as you stay within the boundaries of your personality, it feels “like you” and if you either venture outside, or get pushed outside it feels “not like you.”
Each of us has our own unique size, shape and color of personality, and yet…At the fundamental level, all personalities have the same nature which can be summed up in one word: insecure. Click To Tweet
The personality is motivated from a fear-based belief that it is never enough and always needs to improve itself so it can perceive itself as worthy, safe and secure. Counterbalancing this tendency is an equally strong fear-based tendency to stay within the bounds of the comfort zone. This creates a tug-of-war within that usually ends up in a confusing soup of self-justification and self-condemnation. The personality sees itself primarily in survival terms of defend and attack.If there is a phrase that captures the essence of the personality it is “How dare you criticize me, that’s my job!” Click To Tweet
The Voice of the Soul
There is another inner voice that can and should be relied on for your sense of self-worth. It is the voice of the Soul. But it is a still, small voice that can only be heard, or rather felt, when the voice of the personality has been calmed and quieted, or at least ignored.The voice of the Soul always comes from love, never from fear. Click To Tweet
It speaks words of reassurance to a worried, anxious and self-condemning personality. It knows that your true worth is infinite and innate and cannot be earned through your accomplishments or unearned through your mistakes and failures. It is always experienced as peace. This is the voice you want to be the one that reminds you of your infinite worth and how nothing you can do or not do will ever change that.
Following the platinum rule in your life is a daily decision. It is really just learning to discern between the frantic, insecure voice of the personality and the calm, peaceful voice of the Soul and to choose to pay more attention to the Soul.
Your Soul’s voice is there, because it is your true self. It is always there playing softly in the background. It is the wooden flute playing peaceful and uplifting music, but it is often drowned out by the frantic, discordant brass band of the personality.