What you think of me is none of my business.
This is what I have been reminding myself over and over again in the last few days. She started with a conversation with a friend. During this conversation he said that he felt that I had been depressed or sad for a while. That she wasn’t the playfully happy person she used to be.
I have to say that my first response was disconcerting. I didn’t feel particularly depressed (and believe me, I know what it feels like to be depressed!). I’ll admit I felt a little sad over the past few weeks as my daughter’s 11th birthday anniversary approached, but not too sad before then.
As the conversation continued, I learned that this perceived depression and sadness was the reason we hadn’t spent much time together in the past few months. And the deflector changed to hurt.
The most painful thing was that I immediately began to make mistakes and doubt my own feelings.
Look, I’m a happy person. I love my life and am aware of paying attention to the gifts and blessings that come into it. I feel a lot of gratitude most of the time. And, for the last 18 months or so, my life has also been one upheaval after another. External upheavals including starting my own business, losing weight, increasing my physical activity, a change in my financial situation, changes in my relationships, and more recently, the process of moving to a new house. I have also experienced many internal upheavals as I work to change my thoughts and beliefs about who I am, my work in the world, my finances, my body, my relationship with food, and much more.
So maybe there is some truth to what my friend said. I am not the same person he was a couple of years ago. I’m probably not happy or playful, not in the same way that I was.
I can’t be that person again. I have changed. I wasn’t wrong about my feelings. I am happy. I still love to play, joke around and have fun. I do it often. I laugh a lot and speak with a British accent to my cat and draw silly pictures in the flour I spill while making bagels. I love the direction my life is taking and I love the work I have to do every day. I am absolutely clear that I am doing what I am supposed to do. I have amazing friends and family with whom I share a mutual love and adoration.
These last 18 months have also been challenging. I feel very scared. I feel insecure much more than I would like. I feel insecure, restless and unclear. Sometimes I doubt myself and my abilities. Sometimes I feel alone and disconnected.
Sometimes, I feel all those emotions, the good ones and the less good ones, all at once. As I got over the pain and discomfort of this conversation with my friend, I realized that what she thought of me and how she perceived me was none of my business.
Because my business is how I see myself and how I feel about my life. I look happy. He would never be who he was again. These changes and upheavals are scary, uncertain and unsettling, yes, but I wouldn’t give them up for anything. I’m not entirely sure how all these aspects of my life will play out and that’s a challenge for me. All this, however, is part of the adventure.
My business is to live my adventure: ups and downs and everything in between. To be true to myself, I have to let it be okay to feel all those feelings and experience both the light and the dark in my life.
That may mean my friend might not choose to be around as I move through this hectic stage of my life. It can mean that he may not see the happy moments because she is not willing to be with me in the difficult moments. And that’s fine.
I will be with me The me that is constantly changing and evolving minute by minute these days.
Because I like the me I’ve become. And I already love the me I’m becoming.
The question is never “does person XYZ like me or approve of me?”
It’s always “do I like myself and approve of myself?” Nothing else matters.
be you Do it your way. Mind your own business.