Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Let Them.

I love a clean, fresh start (I love a clean, fresh anything), so it makes sense I'd also have a fondness for the new year. Quieting the chaos and laying to rest past events, then pulling back the veil to reveal the blank page, the clean slate, the new dawn that lies ahead... The process brings me peace, while also inspiring me to reflect on who I've been, who I am, and who I want to be.

And as I reflect on these three things, I'm realizing that my sanity going forward depends - at least in part - on caring less than I have in the past about what other people think of me. 


I came across these words (I've paraphrased a bit for space and relevance), written by Cody Bret:

Sometimes I think about the different characters I play in everybody’s story: 

I’m a terrible person in some people's narratives and a Godsend in others.

Some people see your bright personality as endearing and others see it as annoying.

Some people think you’re weak and emotional and others feel safe to be themselves around you.

Some people think you’re rude and selfish and others respect the way you stand up for yourself.

Some people admire the way you take pride in the way you look and others think you’re conceited.

The lens through which others view you is coloured by their upbringing, beliefs, and individual experiences, and none of it has to do with who you truly are as a person. None of it has to do with who I truly am as a person.


Full confession: I'm a people pleaser. I expect I always will be, at least to a certain extent. I've realized this past year, however, that doing the right thing doesn't please everyone and that doing the right thing isn't always interpreted positively. 

So...in the coming year, I'm focusing on pleasing the right people, for the right reasons, in the right ways. I'm also letting (or at least trying to let) the others dislike me. Letting them believe things about me that aren't true. Letting them misunderstand my motivations. I need to LET THEM. 

As Bret says, you can't control how people view you, so don't try to do so. Instead, control what you see in yourself. When I look in the mirror, I see a lot of things: wrinkles from smiling, gray hair from getting Hallie through her toddler years, and slightly crooked teeth despite years of braces, to name a few. I also see kind eyes and a heart that is, most of the time, in the right place. 

I'm not a fan of resolutions, but I'm going to give this one a try this year: let them. 

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