Your opinion of me is not my concern…

On his blog on Monday, David Kanigan shared the following quote:

“It crossed his mind that maybe one of the most telling differences between the young and the old lay in this detail.

As you aged you cared less and less about what others thought of you, and only then could you be more free.”

— Elif ShafakThe Island of Missing Trees: A Novel (Bloomsbury Publishing; 1st edition (November 2, 2021)

Blogger and yoga/meditation guide, Val Boyko, commented that, “Perhaps it isn’t about the aging process, but more about getting to know and accepting yourself.”

I’m with Val.

Diving into self-knowing, clarifying my values, my beliefs, my ‘Principles to Live by” have all given me the freedom to be less concerned about what you think of me.

Not because I don’t care, I do care about you and how you perceive me — I just care more about how I see myself in the world — and when I see myself living by my principles, walking in my integrity, speaking my truth with heart, honesty and humility, I don’t have to concern myself about the opinion of others. I’m living true to me.

It is a constant checking in and looking outward. Being present and being real. Giving grace to others and honouring my own worth.

It is my journey of life.

And on this journey, I have learned – no matter our age, we are always capable of acting out, or acting for good.

The better I know myself, the more I forgive and step into gratitude, the more I have less to regret about what or how I’ve behaved.

And when I use my bad behaviour as an opportunity to grow in self-awareness and truth, I give myself the grace of not having to worry about the opinion of others…

And I smile.

Because the next part of that statement was going to be… because my opinion of myself is all that matters.

And while there is truth in that, it isn’t ALL that matters. It is what matters most.

When my opinion of myself is blinded by a belief I have no room to grow or change or evolve, I am stuck in self-denial. And self-denial will lead me to act out to defend my actions in ways I can’t imagine simply because I’m blind to my human condition.

Our human condition is a beautiful, unfathomable source of great beauty and magnificence. It can also be a source of great pain and destruction.

We can inspire others to imagine possibilities they never before thought possible through simple words of encouragement and support. Or, we can destroy another’s confidence and self-esteem by thoughtlessly cast-off comments that prevent them from seeing their magnificence and human potential.

No matter our age, when we are conscious of our capacity to ignite possibility or burn hearts and minds to oblivion, we must choose the path of possibility. It is on that path we free ourselves from being shackled and shamed by the opinions of others. It is on that path we give ourselves the freedom to ‘care less’ about ‘what have I done?!’ so that we can care more about what we do to create better….

_______________________________________

Thursday morning thoughts inspired by the people around me who help me see deeper into my human condition.

Thanks David and Val for the inspiration!

11 thoughts on “Your opinion of me is not my concern…

  1. Absolutely loved your post, you say it all with such simplicity and beauty. It just landed in my heart like an old friend and I nodding agreeably together and so thrilled with the resonance in feelings. Growing up is so much about taking responsibility for own experiences, perspectives and choices. Arriving from a point of Them to Me to reaching the point of We. I would highlight so many sentences in your post that give me so much joy to read.
    Not because I don’t care, I do care about you and how you perceive me — I just care more about how I see myself in the world –
    Starting here, yes so important because grief comes when I think I need to learn to not care – but that’s all I ever want, that we care for each other. I feel gratitude for each person who nudged and pushed me to refine and define my values and purpose of living, each time I learned to divert myself from wanting any validation to trusting and finding my way. My journey then is not against anyone, and for everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a profound response Prahalbha! And this statement: “grief comes when I think I need to learn to not care – but that’s all I ever want, that we care for each other.”
      So true! It is the telling myself I don’t care that I feel the heartache and grief the deepest — which then results in my building up walls and barriers to caring. Or, as Brene Brown calls it, “Armouring up.”
      Thank you for being such a beautiful light of caring and love and kindness in the world. You shine and show us all how to take this journey – not against anyone, and for everyone. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I only realised ‘that’ truth when I was divorcing my ex…. I grew 2 centimeters after that divorce and my self-value grew much more than 2cm after. I could underline each and every sentence but the gist is: Although I do value your opinion, and although I’m more than willing to share or to politely disagree, I value myself more than I care for ‘your’ opinion. It made me a better person too. Earlier I would bend myself in all directions to please the world, now I calmly explain my view and if needed, change it. But more often, once I stated my opinion of events, people, things, I realise that ‘for me that’s it’. And to my astonishment, I felt better understood since. I was a weakling for far too many years of my life, dithering like a reed in the wind, now I’m built on a rock and I’m fine with that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I got out of the relationship that almost killed me Kiki — I was so broken I could do nothing else but grow — I love how you desribe it as growing 2 cm and your value growing much more after. That’s how I felt and experienced my freedom!

      And I agree — I too feel better understood when I walk in my integrity and speak my truth with heart.

      Liked by 1 person

Real conversations begin with your comments. Please share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.