I first heard this decades ago, in Al-Anon. I’ll come clean – I’m still working on it.
The concept blew me away back then. I repeated it over and over to myself. I shared it with clients. I etched it on my brain. I thought I “got it.”
But damn, this one is hard for me. That said, I’m tired of it and ready to be done.
Yes, I have every excuse to be acutely tuned to everyone around me. Yes, my brain was carved and pickled in this way by my cult. Yes, I was taught – directly and subtle-ly – that I was tainted and sinful and not enough…and this propelled me into always reading the room and the moods and the needs of others around me. Being acutely aware of where I was falling short and where I was somehow passing for okay. Yes, I wasn’t safe when I was young, and I learned to care a hell of a lot about what other people thought about me. I cared as if my life depended on it, and I think sometimes it did.
But I’m tired of it and I’m ready to be done.
So, I have a new practice that I’m experimenting with, when I feel myself focusing on what you think and want and think of me rather than on what I think and want and think of me myself. I pull myself back into my body however I can – by feeling my feet on the ground, noticing specific sights or sounds or smells around me, paying attention to my breathing – and then I zip myself up in my mind, to close myself back into myself.
When I start paying more attention to what you’re thinking about me and if you’re mad at me or disappointed by me or anything, I lose myself. I literally feel as if I’m oozing out of holes in my being.
So, I pull myself back in and zip myself back up and remind myself that what you think of me is none of my business…no matter how much my brain is screeching that it is.
Yes, of course, I then put my hand on my heart (Thank you Tara Brach! It’s my answer to just about everything.) Yes, I remind myself that I am safe…and whole…and enough…and more than enough…and dare I say spectacular.
Honestly, what you think of me is none of my business. I have enough to focus on when I just focus on myself.
And I will Love (myself) With All My Heart.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!