I spend a lot of time indulging in what I think is the right thing to do, or the right thing to say. In my busy mind, there always seems to be a huge volume of thoughts centred around “What will other people think?”
My new year’s resolution is to relinquish control, to give up trying to involve myself in the minds of other people, to let my thoughts be my thoughts and to let your thoughts be your thoughts.
The only things I can control are my thoughts and my actions. Me. I can control me. I can’t control you. I don’t know what you’re thinking right now. You could be thinking that reading this is a complete waste of your time and you should get back to work. You could be thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner tonight. I have absolutely no idea, so I’m going to carry on writing anyway.
Realising that I don’t know what you’re thinking, that I will never know what you’re thinking, is a blissful breakthrough. So many of my daily thoughts are given up to wondering, dwelling on how I’ve affected you and what you think of me. It’s not to say that I shouldn’t be mindful and thoughtful of what I say and do, but that once I’ve said and done those things the ball is in your court.
Empathy is completely different. I’ll try to walk in your shoes, but I don’t need to worry about what you think of my shoes. I’m happy with my shoes. You might like my shoes. You might hate my shoes. You might have absolutely no opinion on my shoes. That’s okay. You’re entitled to think what you think and feel what you feel. You can even tell me what you think of my shoes, even if you hate them. But that’s you.
I’m bound to wrestle with this, but the moments when I’m free from the background noise are so peaceful, so I’ll keep trying.
I think your shoes are fabulous, FYI.