Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


Are You What Others Think

I’ve done a lot of thinking over the last couple of days, been pretty introspective.  I’m a lot more vain than I realized.  As I pondered within myself why it is I feel the pull to continue an exercise which usually results in me questioning even more and having even fewer answers I’ve come to a startling conclusion.  I worry about what others think.

The big question is: why?  Why do I care so much what other people think of me?  I’d like to say it’s because I don’t want to disappoint them.  I’d like to say it’s because I don’t want to hurt them.  While that is partially true, it’s not entirely true.  I’ve built a reputation for myself.  I’m dependable, courteous, loving, caring, selfless, giving, kind, considerate and….I’m a staunch believer.  At least that’s who I was to most people.  If they knew that I doubt – not just doubt, but seriously question the tenets of the faith that they hold so dear they might think less of me.  Even if I’m all those other things – that’s still who I am.  They might shun me.  They might be angry with me.  Some of them quite possibly won’t *gasp* like me anymore.  And, well, how can anyone not like me? *grin* 

That’s just honesty.  Me being honest with myself.  That’s kind of hard to do, but it’s healthy.  I’ve kept a lot of thoughts and feelings to myself because of fear of what others might think.  But the hard, cold truth is I’ve got this one life – this one shot.  I want to make it count.  I want to be at peace with myself that I’ve lived it well.  Sometimes that might require letting go of worrying so much about what other people think and whether or not they like me.  If someone judges me that’s kind of their problem, right?

Now there are perfectly healthy reasons for worrying or caring what other people think.  Sometimes we can truly hurt others with our actions and attitudes. I will continue to live by the philosophy, “do unto others as you would have done unto you”.  That’s just practical and it’s common courtesy.  But as long as what I do hurts no one else, I’m going to try to be brave and dare to not worry about it so much.  I’ve been told that to be fully known and still loved is to be fully loved.  I’m about to test that theory. 

What about you?  What are the reasons you hide your thoughts and feelings?