And here’s the thing that I keep thinking about: so I do something really sucky and stupid and everyone looks at me like I’m a Klingon for a second; then what? Who cares? Is anyone going to stab me in the gut with a javelin? Is the government going to repossess all of my belongings for writing a bad blog post, or getting a script rejected a thousand times, or forgetting important birthdays? No. And I think the simple reason behind it is that no one cares as much about what I’m doing as I do. In my mind, the process of me failing starts with people saying, “She’s terrible,” and ends with them saying, “let’s murder her in the alley.” When in reality, it’s more like, “She’s terrible. Ooohh…nachos!”
I read the previous quote in a blog by Melanie Crutchfield. I had my idea for this post before reading hers because of another friend who had blogged about the Hope 2012: A Blog Relay. What she says here has alot to do with my post though, so I figured I'd include it... Now onto my post.
I have always been the kind of person who was too worried about what others thought. It has caused issues my entire life, and I wish it was just something that I could just STOP doing… but alas, I've done it for as long as I can remember.
In fact, one of my very first memories is about getting my feelings hurt when I heard my parents laughing about me singing along to a Whitney Houston tape. I think I was like 3 or 4. As a parent, I realize that what I was doing much have been crazy cute to them and that they were probably laughing because of how adorable I was (and still am!) At least, that's what I do, as a parent. But even then, I took what THEY were doing and let it affect how I viewed myself. I still feel uncomfortable singing in front of people.
This type of behavior has affected my WHOLE life. I remember feeling "uncool" as young as first/second grade. I remember feel laughed at or made fun of, when I'm sure others had much better things to do than worry about me. The worry and concern over what everyone else is thinking has followed me into adulthood. And it has been a thorn in my side the entire time.
I recently had some enlightenment regarding my worry. I was actually trying to defend some previous actions, and it hit me… "WHY!" I realized a lot of things at that moment.
People are going to think whatever they want about you and generally it has nothing to do with who you actually are, and more to do with who THEY are - their own personal perceptions, struggles, worries, issues, experiences, beliefs, etc. You can try to explain what you believe is true until you're blue in the face. It does no good. People form their opinions around experiences and perceptions, most of which are skewed to fit what they NEED to believe at that time.
I have been terrified my whole life of not being liked. I have no idea why… I'm a nice person and I try to be kind… what's not to like ;) But still… It's a HUGE fear. So when I perceive things, that fears skews it. For example, if I walk into a room and I'm not part of a conversation, I worry that it's about me and the people talking are bashing me or whatever. In a way, this is really kind of conceited. Nobody is really talking about me… and if they are… so what. How does that change who I am? How does that make me feel bad? More than likely, most conversations that I worry about have absolutely NOTHING to do with me. And even if they do, I am the one who gives it the power to affect me. My whole view of others is skewed by my own personal fears.
But with this realization that people are going to think whatever they want about me (and that's their right) I have robbed this fear of its power. LET THEM TALK… they're probably not talking about me, and if they are, who cares! I can be myself and not worry about what anyone else thinks… Liking me and being okay with me is all that matters. I have my own personal standards that I try to align with my understanding of the Gospel of Christ. No one except for my Father in Heaven is my judge.
“Everybody in this life has their challenges and difficulties. That is part of our mortal test. The reason for some of these trials cannot be readily understood except on the basis of faith and hope because there is often a larger purpose which we do not always understand. Peace comes through hope.”
James E. Faust
Letting go of this fear has also helped me to be more genuine. When I'm not trying to fit what anyone else wants or expects of me, I can be more of myself. And I am so much happier for it. It's exhausting trying to be what everyone else wants you to be or expects you to be (or what you THINK they want and expect you to be.) And you don't have to do it. I can figure out what I want for myself, what standards I want for myself, what my personal beliefs are, where my faith lies.
I have realized that my Heavenly Father does not want me to fit some cookie cutter mold. That was Satan's plan… for us not to have choice or be different or unique. My Father in Heaven created me different from everyone else… just like everyone else. No one else has my soul, my experiences, my thoughts, my strengths, my weakness, or my perceptions. He doesn't expect me to try to be like anyone else… only to be the best that I can.
I have also learned to be more understanding of others, more accepting. I do not know their thoughts, experiences, perceptions, etc… And because of that, I cannot judge their words or actions. That's not my place or my job. It's my job to be a listening ear and a sympathetic arm. It is my job to be encouraging and uplifting. That's it.
“Genuine hope is urgently needed in order to be more loving even as the love of many waxes cold; more merciful, even when misunderstood or misrepresented; more holy, even as the world ripens in iniquity; more courteous and patient in a coarsening and curt world; and more full of heartfelt hope, even when other men’s hearts fail them. Whatever our particular furrow, we are to ‘plow in hope,’ without looking back or letting yesterday hold tomorrow hostage (1 Cor. 9:10).”
Neal A. Maxwell
This enlightenment has given me one of the greatest gifts in this whole world. HOPE. I have hope for the future that I will be able to learn more about whom I am and what I am here to do and accomplish. I have hope that I will overcome my ridiculous fears and my awful thoughts that come with depression. I have hope that I will be able to teach this same understanding to my daughters, and that they will then be able to grow into good, strong, confident women who are examples to those around them. Maybe I can also help others to realize this about themselves too. That you don't have to be afraid of what anyone thinks. You only need to worry about what YOU think. If YOU are okay with YOU, the no one else can break you down. I have hope for the future. And that helps me to be happy with today.
Now it's time to pass the torch on. Keep it going... What gives you Hope? Hope in anything, the future, humanity, the weather... any of it. Just blog about Hope ;)