A great deal of inner peace and mental freedom comes from not taking things personally.
Being raised in very much a “what would people say” kind of family, there was always that hovering question in my younger years. My mother, being a single parent in a judgmental society, was especially concerned with how things would look to others. For example, how would she be viewed as a parent in a conservative family if she allowed me to enroll in a modelling agency at 14? It was hard enough for her that I was a dancer from 4 years of age, with Indian Classical not being enough for me, but I then wanted to stop it altogether to start ballet and modern dance.
Since my parents’ divorce OBVIOUSLY made me a fatherless orphan, if my grandparents had their way, an additional pressure of ‘what would people say’ was then exerted.
Whether it was because of a teenager’s urge to rebel or an innate lack of concern for the opinions of others, I didn’t conform well to their school of thought. I empathised with how torn I saw my mother – wanting me to follow my passion but not wanting the stress and judgment and pressure of resisting old-school indoctrination.
As an adult, I became less and less interested in what people thought of me.
I did hear any things about myself that I never knew, from people who knew me even less, but I never felt a need to correct them. I always felt that donkeys should be left to bray.
It’s become worse with evolving to 40, because now I know exactly what people think about me and say about me…people that I am not close to or consider important…but I take none of it personally. How can I, when they are of no consequence to my life.
Why should anyone’s opinion matter? Others don’t define who we are or where we are going or what we go through.
Not taking their malice seriously or personally allows me great mental freedom. Freedom to be who I chose…Freedom to be who I am…Freedom to just be…