Everyone has an opinion and, nowadays, it seems that people are far more open with their opinion as they sit behind their Smartphone screens and spout off. With so much opinion, there’s a lot of division; not only amongst different people but also within people themselves. What do you believe? What do you discard? What’s true? What’s a pile of bullshit? It’s hard nto navigate sometimes…
As it comes with the territory, people will also have opinions on you. It sounds pretty savage but we all judge. Yes, you do. You do judge. I judge. They judge. We’re all a bunch of judgey fucks because that’s how humanity has evolved. We all judge each other because we need to instinctively categorize the world – if we can fit something into a category that we already know, or we can gain a basic understanding of something, this allows us to gain a sense of control over it and, thus, feel safe or keep ourselves safe. As a result, we do it to each other. We are keen to sort others into boxes, summarize their personalities, and know where they lie in the grand scheme of our lives.
People have a whole bunch of perceptions about you. They will comment that you’re loud, you’re quiet, you’re shy, you’re reserved, you don’t eat enough, you snack a lot, you like this, you like that, you’re too this, you’re too that…on and on and on. People will make these judgements based on 5 minutes of meeting you, 5 months of working with you, or 5 years of knowing you. Some of these judgements are accurate and they resonate with us, we laugh, and we say “Fucking hell, you’re right…” Other times, these comments are highly offensive and they hurt us. We can feel at home with the people saying it or we can feel highly threatened by the people saying it. It can depend on what day we’re having and what mood we are in, or what day the other is having and what mood they are in.
Listen – in this highly opinionated world, only one thing is important – know thy-fucking-self. I’m not gonna bang on about self-love here and sitting down with yourself in silent meditation. Knowing thyself is hard work, it evolves out of struggle, it develops after a period of sorrow. It can hit you in the face in midst of great joy, and it can be a silent revelation in a moment of calm. Knowing thyself is acknowledging where you’ve come from, what you’ve achieved, observing your own reactions in certain situations, understanding your shadow self (i.e. this shit we don’t want to acknowledge about our personalities, the stuff we term “bad” or “not good” about ourselves), and accepting the entirety of ourselves – the yin, the yang, the light, the dark. All of it. It is all you. Do not divide yourself into compartments and judge one side of yourself more than the other; don’t hate the dark and love the light. You need to know that it’s all you and every atom of you, every part of your spirit, every expression of your soul deserves love.
Once you get that – that’s the foundation that you stand on. That is the security you have. Knowing that you have your own back. Once you are in a position to accept all of you, everyone else’s perceptions of you just fall away.
You see, that’s just it – people’s perceptions of you are merely perceptions. The dictionary definition states that it is “the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted.” Everyone interprets things differently. Everyone observes things through their own lens of understanding which is shaped by the lifes journey they’ve had. We are all so multi-faceted and complex that I do not think anyone is able to fully comprehend another human being in the same way that we are also unable to fully comprehend ourselves. If others could walk a mile in your shoes, it would not be far enough for them to understand you and pass a fair judgement. For example, one person may call you non-commital but, to your family, you’re the loyalist bitch there is. Maybe you’re flaky with that person because they don’t hold a priority place in your life in comparison to your relatives who you’d walk through fire for. It’s a relevant comment but the person who judged you as flaky – their comment will fall away from you and you won’t be bothered because you are secure in the knowledge that, for those you truly love, you are tied to for life. And therein lies the depth of your personality – you want to connect with those you love rather than pass the time with others who you don’t fully connect with on the same level.
Or perhaps someone said that you were shy. This one is a trigger for me because, over the years, I have worked so hard on my confidence coming from a 6 year old child who wouldn’t say boo to a goose and yet ended up semi-moving to England for University. You see, some people may describe me as quiet and shy but, get me in a room with people I feel comfortable around, and I will be the loudest bitch in there at times. For me, the depth of my personality is shown – I am relatively quiet in certain situation but, for those I love, I allow the full expression of my personality to shine through and only the priveleged few can see that. And I’m absolutely fine with that because, I’m not sorry, you have to earn that right and it won’t come overnight. Calling me shy is relevant but I know, within myself, I’m not because I’ve come a long way. My journey is not shown on the surface of my skin, on a brief glimpse of my personality, and they do not know me like I know me. So…thanks for your input, darling, but I’m good without it.
In sum, do not let the surface judgements of others affect you. Do not let others define you. You know you better than them. Know thyself and stand confident in the complexity of your humanity. I’ll end with one of my favourite quotes at the moment because this has been on my heart so heavy these past few weeks and it makes me feel at ease when combating the opinions of others…
“Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.”Walt Whitman