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Sunday, November 20, 2011

What Someone Else Thinks Of Me, Good Or Bad, Is Not My Business


There are certain things about one’s child raising that one is grateful for, and yet others that one is not. The ones that I did not like, I attempted to make changes with, in my own parenting. However, one aspect of my growing up that I am utmost thankful for, involved my parents never offering me any advice unless I asked for it. From a time when I was quite young, I made my own decisions, stood by those choices and basked in the glory or accepted any consequences surrounding said choices. As a young adult, when someone offered advice to me on any occasion, without me asking for it, I was incensed and insulted. Who were they to think that they could offer me suggestions with how to live?
At 50 years of age, I have learned that it matters not whether someone offers me advice on how to be, but on how I receive her or his intent. I needed to learn that the way in which someone views me and whether or not she or he is favourable to how I live, is of no importance. What is significant, is whether I am approving to the way in which I live.
It was difficult in my young adult years when someone freely offered me advice. I actually wanted to do the opposite just so that I could stand up for my own way of being. I was not obsessed with people pleasing in any way, and yet, I did not carry this behaviour over into marriage. I am thankful that I fell in love with, and married a sweet, kind soul who loves me and put me on a pedestal, but he had been raised in a household where people just fit in, complied with society at large and offered advice freely to each other. I felt as if everyone was living in my back pocket judging every choice I made and yet I was busy raising my own two babies in a way that contrasted with this. These two ways of being began to collide, eventually demonstrating to me that one was not right or wrong, just different.
A passage stated by many and that has shown up in my life over the last few years that has helped me to let this go, is finally beginning to sink in,

What someone else thinks of me, good or bad, is not my business.

While the particular happening was not advice offered, it did surround “taking offense” when the other evening a friend queried whether she had offended me by asking me a delicate question. I actually chuckled, smiled warmly and let her know that I am rarely offended by anything, but that on the occasion that I am, I look to myself to see what it is about me, that I would allow another’s words to have that kind of power over me. I am a human being and when I am presented with a feeling that is contrary to how I typically feel, I start to peel the layers back of my being, in order to understand, detach from and release, and be at peace ready to enjoy life once again.
Before I close this writing off, I want to turn back to why I have made the decisions that I have made, and that part of the challenge with making choices lies in the society that we live in and how the people within it respond. I mentioned that I basked in glory or accepted consequences of decisions, because as much as I have tried to separate myself from what another thinks, there may still be rewards or glory surrounding particular choices, which in turn may fuel the next decision I make. In the past, all of these positive and negative responses from others became muddled with each other until I reached a place where I irrevocably knew that a decision was not necessarily right or wrong but that it just – was.

Face your challenges or don’t and make your own decisions – it’s YOUR choice.

Soar by Christina Aguilera 
Now in life there’s gonna be times
When you’re feeling low
And in your mind insecurities seem to take control
We start to look outside ourselves
For acceptance and approval
We keep forgetting that the one thing we should know is
Don’t be scared
To fly alone
Find a path that is your own
Love will open every door.
See in your hands the world is yours
Don’t hold back and always know
All the answers you will unfold
What are you waiting for?
Spread your wings and soar.”

…Ellyn