My brother echoed many times to me: “What other people think of you is none of your business, Sister.”
Those words were soothing to me and exactly what I needed to hear when I was a teenager in high school and for whatever hormonal, lady-raging reason I actually gave a shit about what others thought (no, I’m not exempt from caring what other people think, I just usually do the duck and water thing and let it roll off my back. Turns out I’m human, not a duck).
Thoughts raced through my head about family, friends, decisions, what if’s and holy-mother-of-contemplation-hamster-wheel, Batman! I felt like I couldn’t get off the roller coaster or monkey mind as they call it (again, I was trying desperately to pump that Bulletproof brain fuel of tea into my mouth as fast as possible – go, Seabiscuit, go!)
Considerations like so were jump roping in my head:
“She’s still with that guy?”
“Why does she stay?”
“Why did she go back?”
“Why did he do that?”
“Are Unicorns real?”
“Of course they are, Kel – get real!”
And then a miraculous and bloody practical thought popped into the ole noggin’: what you think of it/them/situation is none of your damn business!
I felt weighed down with judgment and concern and major think tanking and knew it wasn’t serving them and it sure as hell wasn’t serving me. Once that ping of “none of that being my business” came through the mind, I felt lighter and able to move through the moments easier, less debilitated in whatever my mind was holding hostage. Because I wasn’t using discernment, I was just straight up being judgmental (and curious as hell into human behavior) for people and things I had no business asserting judgment towards.
Now I say all of this because at one point in my life, this scenario of thoughts clogging my brain would have went down a wee bit differently. I would’ve tried to phone a friend that was a monk (I actually don’t have friends that are monks, but I lived with and around some uber-spiritual people once in my life if that counts?), or plop my ass down and thumb through YouTube for a guided meditation on For the Love of God, Shut My Brain Off, or chant affirmation words and cram everything into my Positive Box as I danced around to Prince’s Purple Rain.
At times those cosmic-loving resources worked and other times they didn’t and I found myself disappointed and all judgy-pants…with myself.
I can always say a prayer and send love. Meditation can definitely be a chill pill for me. And affirming the shit out of something or turning it on the positive side is like, my skill in life.
What I’ve learned through all of the deep breaths and chatting with would-be monks is that solutions can be ethereal and practical – moods can lift from accessing otherworldly realms and they can also shift from rooting in practical advice from your brother. All that matters is how it works for you. And for me, remembering that it’s not one or the other, it’s a mesh and meld of the real-world advice and a remembering of those times when you get a call from a friend you were just thinking about and not calling it a coincidence…and that time I thought I was growing a Unicorn horn from my head (even if it turned into a whopping zit)!
Love + Melding + Big Brother’s,