Your opinion of me is none of my business. Truly. And, I’ll be forever in the debt of Byron Katie for teaching me that one. But boy oh boy did I spend a lot of years trying to control what other people thought of me.
I once pretended to be interested in becoming a pilot, because I had a crush on hot guy who was into planes. Not one to give up on a goal (lol), at 17, I even went down to the Navy recruiting office in my Catholic school uniform and filled out information to join the Navy. You know, so that I could become a fighter pilot and all. The recruiting officer was highly amused and questioned, “Do you parents even know you are here?” I didn’t yet know that in order for someone to notice me, I had to first notice myself.
Over the years, I’ve given away too much of me or hidden things about myself to win love or keep friends. Little things, like volunteering to do things I didn’t want to do, and much bigger things, like hiding my political (proud independent) and spiritual beliefs (there are many rivers to the ocean).
What truth are you holding back from saying, doing or living fully because you are afraid that someone – anyone – may think less of you for it?
Maybe it’s raw honesty that you’re sweeping under the rug.
Maybe you’ve been holding back from making a crucial decision.
Maybe you’ve got a game-changing opportunity on the horizon that would absolutely rock your world … but you’re afraid you may hurt someone by taking it.
If we learn to barter our very own beliefs and desires for someone else’s love, admiration, acceptance, whether real or imagined, we begin to build a watered down version of ourselves. You, only the 1.0 model. You, only not really you.
The admiration that you bask in, the friends that are around you, the acceptance that you lie for….it’s all pretend unless you are showing up fully as yourself.
Be yourself. Your whole self. No one else can do it for you.