Yesterday I turned 40. The BIG Four-Oh!!! Over the hill, or at least, perched at the top looking down over the edge.
Actually turning 40 doesn’t bother me. Age related decline bothers me, but I’m confident that 40 isn’t quite there yet. Plus, I feel like it has taken me these full 40 years to learn even the most basic life lessons and to glean entry-level wisdom about navigating in this world.
As I’ve been showered with love and gifts, I have been thinking that wisdom is the biggest gift of all.
I’ve felt inspired to give you a gift as well. So, this is my birthday gift to you- use it wisely.
My gift to you: Freedom from my opinion.
My opinion should not matter to you. Seriously. It does not matter.
My opinion of you, good or bad, says more about what’s going on inside of myself than it does about you.
If I’m caught up in negative feelings about you, chances are really good that I’m struggling with an insecurity about myself and I’m projecting it on you.
Most of the time, if you are worried that I’m having bad thoughts about you, it’s all in your head. I’m usually so caught up in trying to keep my own head afloat that I’m really not spending much time thinking about you; unless you make me smile or laugh. I love to smile and laugh.
Even if I don’t like you, why does my opinion matter anyway? I’m not the guru of likeability. If I don’t like you it’s probably because we have vast differences and you probably don’t like me anyway. The truth is, there are very few people I don’t like. Many that I’m just indifferent about, some that I don’t seek out their company… but truly, very few that I don’t like, and, look up a few lines, my dislike may very well be because of an insecurity within myself. Why else would I spend precious life energy focusing on negativity?
I must give this gift to you. Until I can stop over-valuing my opinions of others, I can’t truly stop over-valuing others’ opinions of me. It’s been 40 years I’ve suffered from approval addiction. My gift to myself is that I am quitting seeking your approval. YOU, yes, you. If I’ve ever met you, heard of you, or if you’re reading my words, I promise I’ve lost countless hours of sleep and too much time that I could have been making beautiful life memories because I was torn up over your opinion of me.
The truth is, why would you spend precious life energy focused on the negativity of not liking me if you aren’t struggling with some insecurity that I tap within yourself? And, truly, you are entitled to not like me. We may not have anything in common, and you really aren’t the guru of likeability.
There’s also a good chance that you aren’t thinking of me at all. You are probably out enjoying your life and my misery is all of my own internal making.
Your opinion of me, good or bad, says more about what’s going on inside of yourself that it does about me.
I love you. I really do. You are a child of God. Your life’s energy is one strand in this huge web of energy that we know as life, just as is mine. We are intertwined; we can not be separated. For this reason, I love you. Even if I do not like you. But, though I profess my love, the truth remains: Your opinion should not matter to me. Seriously. It should not matter.
But it still does; although, I’m working on setting myself free. I’m the picture of imperfect progress. Join me. Cut yourself free from my opinions and lets take this walk together.
Me, 23 years ago. 23 beautiful years of learning and growing. I can’t imagine what I’ll know in 20 more years!