As a newly enlightened witch, this is my new mantra: who cares what ‘they’ think?
Not because I’m hell-bent on causing magickal mayhem down town. Nor because I’m going to start doing socially unacceptable things like allowing my dog to poo in the streets or shoplift (yes, she’s that clever).
The real reason is this: what other people think doesn’t have to impact on your life.
Opinions are great
When it comes to everyday life, most people have an opinion if you tell them what you do, what you want, what your plans are, where you’re going. They also have one if you don’t tell them about those things. Hell, where I live, they’ll happily make up the details if you don’t furnish them.
Their opinions might be compatible with your world view. And they might not be. Most of the time they skate somewhere in between.
But the exact set of circumstances that led to you making the choices and decisions you did – from what you wear in the morning, to the career you chose and the boyfriend you have – are totally individual and specific to you. Even if you explain it to them, there’s a strong chance they won’t fully understand, either down to their own limitations or your storytelling capabilities.
Even if you get most of everything across to them, no matter how hard they imagine it, or how well they know ‘that kind’ of situation, they cannot. Possibly. Know. How you feel.
They can’t know of the nuances and slip-ups that balance the adoration you feel for someone, or the 38 year history of your family and why you react like you do to everything. They might know the physiological feelings as the adrenalin hits your stomach, but they won’t have exactly the same triggers.
When someone is being empathetic/empathic, they stretch their imagination a little to stand in your shoes for the time they are with you. They can understand that it is too hard for you to adequately explain the way you feel about something (and friends are the greatest thing in the world for this), but they don’t feel what you feel when you feel it for the reasons that you feel it.
So, with the greatest respect to my friends and advisors, to whom I am infinitely grateful (I bash their ears a lot), with a crystal clear conscience I can say opinions don’t matter. Not mine, nor anyone else’s.
Knowledge matters, but not opinions. Whether you see something as good or bad is up to you.
But guess what?
I didn’t realise the effect that living that thought would have on me.
It frees you. Releases a lot of anxiety that you didn’t know you carried.
Suck it, and see.
Some unexpected free verse
If you want to fly free of the fetters of other people’s shutters, and lose the strife of everyday life, now is the timing to get on without whining, pull yourself away and live life every day, because if you care too much about what people think, you might as well lock yourself up and drink
yourself to death.