(here’s the F part to the #selfcaresaga, happy reading! also, thanks to my good friend Yomi for catching some great shots. check our her photography here!)
Well, let’s not be dramatic.
More like, forget about what everyone else thinks. About you, about life, about anything. Everyone has their own perspective and perception they choose to take on this life, so it’s not going to be the exact same as yours. And because these people have no influence on the individual successes of your life, their opinion, although respected, is not valid. They aren’t operating on your terms. This is one of those “a lot easier said than done” things FOR SURE.
So let’s explore why this would be challenging for us.
Why do I need someone’s approval? What is so important about their opinion that I feel is necessary to my being?
This all goes back to our souls wanting to feel connected. Of course, we want people to like us. We want everyone to support all our decisions and beliefs. What a wonderful world it would be for everyone to get along. But that’s a naive way of thinking when you consider each individual as their own unique being. Snowflake, if you will 😉
No two people had the same upbringing, the same conversations, the same trauma, the same heartbreaks, the same moments of joy.
Sure, they are all universal, but still relative. With all of these different experiences shaping us, we don’t process and understand things all the same. We are operating with both our hereditary and learned traits. So it’s literally impossible for us to share the same exact experience as another person.
We have to keep this in mind when we start worrying about what other people think. They haven’t experienced our life, so they won’t be able to sufficiently make decisions or opinions about what is best for us. So even if we did truly care about what they thought, it still wouldn’t be a valid assessment for us to follow. They don’t have all the details of our situation.
Let’s go back to why this approval would feel so necessary for us.
If we are rejected by someone, especially someone we love, we almost die inside. For me, hearing the word “no” sometimes literally ruins my day. But why is that? Why can’t I take criticism and rejection? It is the worst feeling in the world to feel like your love is ignored. Your efforts are out the window. For some reason, it is like the lifeblood has been severed from your existence. I think it’s because this rejection reminds us of being alone. How awful it is to feel like you are all alone in this world. I hate it.
I don’t think anyone quite likes the idea of being alone.
But the more I think of it, the more it is so true. We are. We are alone. But at the same time, we aren’t. Everything in our worlds is merely a projection of what’s going on inside our heads. Our perception is based on our experiences, like I mentioned earlier. Perhaps it is a little challenging to wrap our human brains around, but consciousness is one. From a religious perspective, God created the universe and it is all one. Science tells us that all our energy is from the same source, and therefore is all one. The same life in the world around us, the animals, the trees, the mountains, the oceans, and the sky is the same life force within us. So I believe it to be like we are all part of this Oneness, and because there is only one Oneness, then we are alone. But this oneness makes up everything around us. The ones we love, the ones we don’t love. The beautiful sunsets. The wars around the world. The poverty we witness on a daily basis. The hugs we share. The trivial conversations we have. The wonderful celebrations. The crippling heartbreak. I think I broke away on a distant tangent, but this helps me remember my wholeness when I feel small and alone. I have my whole entire world inside me, and there is where I rest knowing everything will be okay.
So to get back on track, we are never truly alone if we share the existence with all that surrounds us. So why should we let someone’s words or opinions affect us the way they do? I realized I’m only wasting my precious energy by entertaining other people’s judgements. Now I can come to this conclusion all day, but I am still human and still make mistakes. I still let people get to me. I don’t know why. I’m just a sensitive person, but either way, I have to remember they can’t determine my success. Only I can. And if I’ve drained all my energy listening to the voices, then how can I even attempt to live for myself?
And this is where the self-care comes in.
If we let all of our energy escape while we are worrying about others, where will we find the energy to take care of ourselves?
The answer is simple. You won’t.
It is now that we forget about everyone else. Everyone who has ever made you feel unsupported. Unloved. Unwelcome. We understand that we are literally wasting energy on things that aren’t fulfilling us. By “forgetting” everyone else, we allow ourselves the space and energy to focus on what is truly important in this life.. US!!! As soon as the logic hit me that I was essentially living my life for someone else when I cared too much about their feelings… what in the heck? how are you so smart but also so “stupid” at the same time??
This can be friends. Family. Relationships. Strangers. Anyone. We don’t have to necessarily cut them out of our lives, but if you need to, then by all means, good luck and much love. But it is imperative that we learn how to filter their opinions out. Stop taking things to heart. And I am the Queen of Taking Things Personally, so trust me, I know this isn’t easy. Ha, I’d even consider it impossible to stop letting things bother me. Everything bothers me. I’m grateful to be so sensitive, but sometimes it definitely inhibits my growth. I’m running around with my feelings hurt, too busy to look up and see what needs to be done in my life. Here we go again, wasting energy on things that don’t matter. Come on, Madeleine.
So to help me stop taking everything personally, I started to question the intentions behind the opinions and thoughts of others. Why would they have that certain perspective? Are they hurting? Are they upset at me? What are they actually upset about? Are they proud of me? Are they supporting and encouraging me? If someone is downright rude and makes fun of someone, then they are merely projecting their own insecurities. After realizing this, I could understand what was really going on. It wasn’t ever about me. It was about them. The whole time. Remember how I was saying everyone’s perception is different and we project our inner universe? Yeah, everyone’s doing it. Just like you. Everything anyone ever does is based on their inner world. So then you can understand that it’s not about you. Don’t take it personally. Someone’s anger is based on how they are feeling about their pain. It usually has nothing to do with something that was actually “done”. Having this perspective on the situation has really helped me to understand the importance of not wasting energy on something that honestly probably doesn’t even exist. Everyone is living in their own world. It’s goofy to sit and wonder what you did or said. They are probably not even worried about what it is you’re worried about, I’d be surprised to know they are even aware of it.
I guess what I’m getting at, too, is that if someone can unconditionally love you, they will be supporting you always. You won’t have to worry about them making fun of you or discouraging you. They will be by your side helping you fill your cup so that you can use your energy on your own growth and development.
So find the courage to forget about it all. Forget about what they think. Your parents aren’t happy with your career choice? They are just scared because they have a different idea of success than you. It will be fine. Follow your passion, and they’ll eventually catch up. Your friend doesn’t like your music? Who cares. It makes you happy and that’s all that should matter. Someone doesn’t wanna hang? Get over it. They’ve got their shit and you’ve got yours. If it’s meant to be, it will, but if it’s not, remind yourself of the energy you are wasting. All that energy that could be used for so many other things. Own up to being the badass you are and realize they if they can’t hang, then that sucks for them.
We don’t have time to sit around and worry about it! We have our lives to live!