For years, I’ve heard this expression, and it has irritated me. Not because I didn’t like the message – I really liked what I thought the person uttering this cliché was so cleverly trying to get across. It just seemed to be trying too hard. And, if you really thought about the words, it didn’t make sense. Sure, you shouldn’t worry about what other people think of you. And yes, your worth isn’t determined by what anyone thinks of you. And okay, you really don’t even need to know what other people think of you… I guess it makes sense that it’s best to just think of it as “none of your business.”
Note that as I just wrote that, my head involuntarily started to circle and I may have muttered “two circles and a snap” under my breath. As embarrassing as this is to admit, it’s really only appropriate given that it was this same sassy, know-it-all version of me who used to then roll her eyes and think how stupid it was for anyone to say that an opinion of ME was none of MY business. I mean, Come on! By definition, it’s MY business. It’s an opinion about ME, right?
What I’ve realized lately is that what other people think of me really isn’t MY business.
What people think of me is actually THEIR business! It is really, truly, 100 percent ALL ABOUT THEM! In other words, other people’s opinions – of me and about everything – are really a reflection of their unique views of the world. Each person’s distinct perspective is largely shaped by her upbringing, her environment and her experiences. Someone with Anorexia, for example, who is starving herself and has a distorted body image, would look at a person with a healthy BMI and think of her as decidedly “fat.” Someone from West Africa, on the other hand, where it is viewed as beautiful to be full figured and where people purchase “appetite stimulants” instead of starving themselves, would see that same person as “skinny.”
Similarly, if someone doesn’t “like” me, it’s not actually a reflection on me. It doesn’t mean I’m unlikeable. It could be I rub someone else the wrong way, because I’m exposing him to something he doesn’t want to face. Or perhaps we have similar weaknesses. Seeing someone else struggle with the same things you do can be exceedingly scary. Or maybe someone’s personality traits are just different from mine in such a way that we don’t gel, but she doesn’t realize this doesn’t mean one of us is bad. Maybe a person who doesn’t “like” me is further along in her spiritual journey, and her nurturing capacity is just saturated. Even this type of rejection is not about me. We are all right where we are supposed to be. Every person is ahead of some people and behind others in her walk with God, and the people around us need to provide a balance for us to continue to grow.
All that matters, all that’s true, all that’s MY business is what I think. What I think of myself, what I think of YOU, what I think of everything … it’s all MY business.
And now that I know how to mind my own business, I’d like to end this blog post by sharing what I think of a few things. Hopefully, you won’t take any of my opinions too personally.
First, as for what I think of myself, lately, I’m not super thrilled with me. Sometime in mid-January, my will power just got up and left. I’m not sure if it’s going to come back soon, if it’s on an extended leave of absence, or if perhaps, it is never going to return, but it’s most definitely gone. All those ideas I had about what I was going to do better in 2015, which I conveniently refused to call resolutions, have fallen by the wayside. I’m slacking. Not exercising. Eating whatever I want. I sure am glad my only “real” New Year’s resolution was to cut myself some slack, because I am doing a GREAT job at keeping that one!
Deep down though, I really do know that no matter what, I’m a beautiful, incredible, perfectly imperfect child of God. And even though my will power is missing in action and may never return, I actually like myself today.
As for what I think of you, I really think you should know that you are completely and totally missing the point of this post if you think I am going to tell you anything other than “none of your business.”
And yes, I did just make more circles with my head. This time, though, instead of just muttering, I actually made the sign of a “Z” and then snapped. You’re welcome.