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Think What You Will

Even when I had thought I was coming out of the woods with my body image, I’m reminded it will take time. It’s part of the process. Patience.

Okay, so I said I’ll have to keep coming back to awareness – analyzing situations clearly instead of while they are out of focus. Yesterday I ran into a guy from the gym, we’ll call him Dave. He works at our wholesaler here and I talk to him when I see him. So it’s not just a guy I see, we actually communicate. But yesterday when I saw him I panicked. I grabbed my cell phone and quickly called my husband so I wouldn’t have to talk to Dave. I didn’t want him to get a close-up, and I certainly didn’t want to have to explain myself. That’s me, running away from things, or feeling like I have to give my disclaimer.

My mom pointed out Dave probably thought I was being a bitch. I was so disappointed in my behavior by the thought. That’s the last thing I wanted him to think, but she’s right. He probably thought my behavior was quite odd. I never even thought how he’d feel by my reaction. I was only concerned with protecting myself.

Earlier that week I ran into a bodybuilding acquaintance – I’ll call him Jack. The reaction I got from him was… off. It was almost as if he couldn’t walk away fast enough. My mom is good with giving me her 2 cents (even if I don’t want it ;-) ). She told me there was a lot going on and he was pretty distracted by that. It had nothing to do with me. She said I’ve become more insecure as my weight has gone up. I can’t really argue with that. But, then I ran into Jack a few days later in a totally different environment. He wasn’t with anyone, there was no commotion, he wasn’t rushed, no one was pulling on him or begging for his attention, and he acted the same, if not worse. My insecurities were running mad trying to figure it all out. “What did I do?” “Is it my weight?” “Does he lack respect for me now? He was talking about Sally after she gained a lot of weight shortly after her figure competition. I remember him talking about how big her butt had gotten. Maybe he is doing the same with me.”

After those run-ins with Jack, I had put myself back in defense mode. So when I ran into Dave I was already on guard – living in the past, fearful of others’ opinions, and I’m sure a lot of other stuff was rolling around in my head.

A friend of mine said something that struck a chord with me yesterday. “I’m sure people would love to see me fail.” Do you think people want to see us fail? I know I’ve thought the same. People that doubted our capabilities in the first place or people that are envious of where or what we have – a need to be right or better. I think those type of people would love to see us fail. I realize those people have issues all of their own, but maybe that’s part of where my feelings are coming from. I’m on the lookout for these people and trying to hide from them, because what if they are right? But then again… maybe the voices laughing at my failures are really my own?

It’s one thing to know the truth but another to believe it. Throughout my journey I’ve had to evaluate my belief systems. When I find a faulty one I have to challenge it over and over until I’ve set it as my truth. This is a long process, and one I’ve had to endure with patience (other times not so much). The truth is… others’ thoughts, reactions, emotions, beliefs are their own. Not mine. I know when I can accept myself more I will also accept this truth. We all have different opinions. Some should be kept to themselves, some we should consider the source they are coming from, while others may be worth listening to. This is truly what makes the world go ’round. But one faulty or misguided opinion about me shouldn’t change anything in my world.

“Life is way too short to care what others think.”


T, what a fantastic post. Just a great read. Everyone should read this.

Thank you, RC.

Smiling T…challenging those fault beliefs and learning (and relearning, and RErelearning) the truth IS a long process and not one, I expect, that can really be mastered. I think this one in particular – that other people’s thoughts/opinions/beliefs are their own and not ours – is exceptionally challenging for a lot of us. Who hasn’t worried about what someone else thinks of them?

You’re continuing with grace and honesty and inspiring loads of folks to do the same as they journey along too…roads may be different but the process the same.

Thanks for sharing this :)

I think you are right, Cooth, this is one that may never be mastered, but better managed. :)

Thank you for your continued support.

KCLAnderson (Karen) says:

One of the greatest lessons I continue to learn again and again and again…awesome post T!!!

One of the best lessons I learned from Dr. Wayne Dyer is to be independent of the good (or bad) opinions of others. I agree that we often project that which we secretly think about ourselves onto other people. We can never be sure what others are thinking, unless they tell us, in which case it’s still an OPINION. People have them all the time and they are not based on reality – especially not OUR reality. For me it’s been incredibly liberating to let go of other people’s opinions and the drama that invariably surrounds that. I’m spectacularly uninterested.

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