What You Think of Me Is None of My Business
This week, in the course of my daily life, I was part of a conversation using this saying that caused me to stop and think. I know that some of you are laughing at that – but it’s true. And, I feel compelled to share some of my thoughts. You, however, get to choose whether you want to read them, think about them and take your next right step, or discard them.
There is a common Unity saying that gets used a lot. I’m familiar with it from a book put out by Rev. Terry Cole-Whittaker, entitled “What You Think of Me Is None of My Business”. It’s a great book, and when read from cover to cover, you gain understanding around what is behind that statement, and realize that it is an umbrella statement that allows us to bring our self, our own essence, to the forefront; it allows the God within us to be loving, healthy, abundant, and expressing our own personality, feelings and ideas.
When I hear those words, it occurs to me that they don’t mean I shut what is said to me out. When I don’t listen, I lose the opportunity to grow and learn. What you say about me can create clarity in my understanding of who I am, and allow me to grow as a person if I remain open and don’t begin to beat myself up over the feedback I am getting. Two sides of the same coin, right?
- I can use the information shared to get rid of the behaviors I don’t want in my life, or
- I can use the information to reinforce the negative thoughts I have about myself already.
If I choose the side of growth, I have an opportunity to improve any area of my life – my relationships, my health, and my job.
Being open to feedback is critical to living in to “what you think of me is none of my business”. It does not mean that we are hooked on others to tell us who we are, should be, etc. It does mean that if we listen, we can learn great truths about ourselves, it means we get to decide if what they say has any truth or value for us. We get to choose, we don’t have to agree. And, we get to grow.
It does mean that we don’t allow others to dump their insecurities and fears on us. Everyone has a point of view, wariness, and outlook on life – and it belongs to them. The hardest lesson I watch others struggle with is taking feedback personally, even when shared kindly. They feel the need to defend who they are, and make excuses. In doing so, they lose their ability to be open-minded, and the chance to love the perfection that they are, at their very core; the opportunity to remember that because you come from the Universal Good, you are good. You don’t need to get what you need from anyone else: others are not the source of who you are.
The philosophy carried forth from this thought, “what you think of me is none of my business” is that ultimately we are the final say-so on everything in our lives. We have, within us, all of the answers. In order to grow, to take the next right step, you need to take charge of, and full responsibility for – YOU. Nobody else, no system, no philosophy, no church, no religion or other organization gets to know you like you know you, or gets to decide who you are. You get to stop selling yourself down the river and live this thought:
“As long as that which you do is ethical, as long as you do not want to hurt, steal, or take from another person, then the life-style you choose has to be good.” – Rev. Terry Cole-Whittaker
You get to choose how you want to live, and you get to choose the rules others must follow if they join you. The number one rule is, however, you don’t get to impose your values and beliefs on anyone else – because they get to choose their own! When we inflict our views on others, the community begins to unravel.
“Each of us is the only authority on his or her own life; if I let you push my buttons, we both lose. For then you manipulate rather than support me, and I’ve let you run my life, thus depriving myself of my own good.” – Rev. Terry Cole-Whittaker
Great lessons re-learned this week, for me. I watched, I listened, I reflected, and I choose to take the next right step. Thank you for reading this to the end. I hope you were open to my thoughts, and that you don’t feel I have imposed them upon you, because in the end, you get to choose.
Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator. She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner. Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life. You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.