Tuesday, October 4, 2011

ON FUN ~ Mind Your Own Business...


At the age of 45, writer Regina Brett wrote a column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer listing 45 lessons that life had taught her thus far. As a breast cancer survivor, many of those lessons were learned the hard way. Five years later she added five more lessons rounding her list up to 50 and turned her popular list into a book called God Never Blinks. I found her list to be entertaining, inspiring and thought provoking. I thought I would go through each of her lessons learned and write about how that lesson has or has not come up in my own life, now that I am 40 and feel old enough to have finally learned something.

"What other people think of you is none of your business."
~ LESSON #29

Ah, that Regina. She's got a sense of humor doesn't she? Clever gal, wording that lesson the way she did. Funny how we spend so much time worrying about what everyone else thinks of us, when really none of that matters. All that matters is what we think of ourselves. If you can live with yourself, then you're good. If others think you are terrible, cheap, ugly, mean, snobbish, greedy, egotistical or fat - that isn't for you to deal with. That is for them to reconcile if they were to get to know the real you. And hey - maybe they think you are wonderful, classy, beautiful, kind, down to earth, giving, humble or super skinny. Do you have them all fooled or are they smart enough to recognize the truth? Again - it isn't your issue.

Self-esteem is a most important quality to focus on throughout our lives. It is also a fairly selfish concept if you think about it. It teaches us to put ourselves before others, in a way. To worry about getting our own internal self in order before subjecting ourselves to the rest of the world. To not rely on other people to build an opinion of ourselves but to believe in ourselves for ourselves. Worrying about what other folks feel about you is second nature. Treating others' opinions of you as "none of your business" makes it a little easier to avoid that trap.

I'm sure there are people out there who think I am selfish for giving up on breast feeding my son so soon. Not my business. Doesn't affect me one iota. I know the details behind my decision and they were anything but self-serving. I'm also sure there are people out there who think I am handling motherhood beautifully. Not my business. Doesn't affect me one iota. I know that I have many days where I feel incapable of doing anything right for this little baby. That I second guess things all the time. That a lot of the time I am confused, tired and annoyed. I'm being played by a two month old every day.

We all have opinions about each other. Sometimes it is a gut feeling and other times we think it is based on the facts. But in reality, the only person who knows the truth is the person themselves. What we think matters to us, but it doesn't matter to them. Or at least it shouldn't. Because to be strong inside, they are minding their own business, not worrying about our opinion of theirs.

Does Sammy look like he cares that his favorite bouncy chair is girly girl pink? Nope. His self-esteem is strong. I intend to help him learn to keep it that way ;0)

10 comments:

Gwen@ChewDigestBooks.com said...

Sammy looks stoked!

It is hard not to let what people think about you get to you. I try to remember that, in doing that, I am giving them all 'da power. Me likey my power and don't want to share!

Kristi said...

Your little guy is just the cutest thing ever! I wish I could squeeze him in person. Have a great week!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

What an adorable picture!

ds said...

Sam is a healthy happy baby (and adorable to the max!!). That is all that matters.

Margot said...

I've enjoyed reading your take on these lessons even though I probably haven't commented on them all. I like the self-affirming messages that are coming through. Very healthy. And now I like that you are adding your adorable little guy's picture to them.

Some day Sammy will look back and be glad he had such a wise and good mother. And that's the bottom line. He will also grow to be a wise and good man. Who cares what other people say about your mothering efforts now. You are doing the best you can and that's what makes the difference.

Julie said...

:)

stacybuckeye said...

Sammy is 2 months old already?! I know you are reading that thinking that these have been the longest 2 months of your life and I need to get with the program, but I have a hard time keeping up with anything these days.
I never breastfed for many reasons so you get points for doing it at all! And you will continued to get played. One day Sammy and Gage can compare notes on what suckers their moms are :)

Kathleen said...

It took me 40 years to stop caring what people think about me so much but it feels good to be 48 and not care. P.S Sammy is so cute and I love that he is posing with a book. Cutest baby ever!!!

Amy said...

I have God Never Blinks and think it's great and I love that you are posting about the lessons! I was so happy when I saw this one because it's my favorite and not just because of the clever way Regina wrote it...but that is pretty cool!

It's important to have good, positive self-esteem but almost more important not to get carried away with yourself. You make a great point that Self-esteem is a fairly selfish concept. So true and I think that's where so many people trip over it. There's a difference between having a positive self-image and being totally consumed by yourself!

It can be hard not to be upset by the less than complimentary things people think or say about us. Your example about people who may be criticizing you because you aren't breast-feeding Sammy or people who think you're handling motherhood beautifully not being your business is terrific. Whether people have positive or negative opinions of our behavior shouldn't matter to us at all & it's not our business...and there's nothing we can or should do about it. (It's not theirs either, but that's another subject!)...

Great post, Molly! And your boy looks wonderful against a pink backdrop! lol

Kaye said...

Oh Molly, Sammy is so darn cute!!! I'm glad to see he has a book in hand. A little pink color in his life will never hurt.