A cute boy invited me out for a drink, and I turned him down because I’m in sweatpants reading a book. This might not sound like a big deal to you, but for a girl who not so long ago would never turn down a drink or a cute boy, who is also very single and (almost) lonely?
That’s definitely not the obvious choice. So, here’s more on my nerd alert.
Have you ever read something or heard something that was just so real and so true for you that it almost feels like it changes everything you know about everything in an instant?
Something that is so, so true for you that it’s almost like you’re not even reading it, but remembering that you already know it deep down in the absolute center of your core?
It happens to me sometimes. It may be the reason why I even read books. I’m just searching for a sentence or few that will give me that feeling. There is some sort of magic in that moment where you can feel something another person wrote with every inch of your being. Some sort of comfort, some small freedom from the pain, some sort of relief that at some point another human felt the exact same way that you did.
You’re not alone after all. Not even close.
The line of this book that sucker punched me right in the gut?
“The worst that can happen is that I think you think about me what I think about myself. So I am sitting in a pool of me.”
– Byron Katie, (Queen of being at peace with what is)
I actually slapped my forehead with an open palm. I almost laughed out loud. It was so true for me right now. I don’t know about you, but sometimes this “pool of me” gets murky and gross as fuck.
One of my life resolutions (I think normal-not-Katey people call them new year’s resolutions) this year was to be less affected by what other people do and say, and stop caring so much what other people think. I can get super sensitive at times and am hyper aware of other people’s energy. Sometimes I love this about myself, but it also drains me and frustrates me to no end when I just want to shut off.
I want to truly not be offended by anything anyone says. I want to not be so affected by anything anyone does. I don’t want to take anything personally. I want to act, not react. I want to be so firm and deeply grounded in myself that nobody can push me over unless it’s really freaking important. I want to know myself so well and so deeply that I know immediately if what someone says is truth, or not truth, or simply not truth for me, and be able to move on effortlessly.
“The worst that can happen is that I think you think about me what I think about myself.”
I’m not actually worried about what you’re thinking about me. I’m worried that you’re thinking all the worst things I think about myself.
And as much as I wish it was my business sometimes, what others think of me isn’t really any of my business. Plus, despite what a person says or does we can’t really ever truly know what another person is actually thinking. Even if we could, it wouldn’t matter.
Because really, what can someone say to me or about me that I don’t already know about myself?
What could they possibly say that I haven’t already thought or know about myself?
We are our worst critics after all. We all know that I go pretty dark sometimes. So really, any thought that any other person could have about me? Couldn’t possibly be worse than the things I’ve thought myself. Even if someone says something to me that hurts, or that I’ve tried to forget, or would rather not hear, the reason it hurts isn’t because I’m not aware of it. It’s because I already do know about it, and didn’t want them to know, too. That’s the part that makes it hurt.
(Side note rant: People almost always know what they need to work on. You can’t help someone by using their insecurities against them or by throwing their flaws in their face. Give them a break. Especially if you love them and want them in your life. Rant over.)
But nobody knows you better than you know yourself. Other people can see you from the outside but only you can see you from the inside. Sometimes it can help to use other people’s perception of you. Sometimes people can see things you can’t that will help you. Most of the time, though, it’s everyone else that is missing the information. For better or worse, they don’t know what it’s like to be you, to live in your body. They don’t know your thoughts or your dreams or your plans or experiences. They don’t know everything about you, and anything they do know about it is based on their own life and their own thoughts and dreams and plans and experiences.
It reminds me of that time my dad was telling me and my mother a story about when he was a kid. After more than 30 years of marriage and shared lives, my mother never knew this story or how much it had affected my father.It’s almost as if we can’t ever really know another person.
So how do we make that hurt go away?
Well, that’s easy. You just stop.
I don’t have to be worried or afraid of what you’re thinking about me anymore because it’s only what I’m thinking about myself. And I can change my thoughts at any time.
So…I guess I’ll stop doing that to myself now. And if I can stop doing it, you can stop doing it, too.
So this is where I’ll be. Sitting over here in a pool of me, turning this dirty murky water into the clearest, cleanest, most sparkling flowing liquid you’ve ever seen.
And you can think whatever you want about it. 😉