After years of being so tuned to every nuance, tone, word, action of others, I am slowly beginning to feel free of the expectations of others. I am no longer hyper-vigilant. I don’t feel bad, sad or mad at people for very long. The duration for being hurt, fearful or angry gets less. Gradually, the moods and behaviors of others have no bearing on my sense of self. As my sense of who I am is getting stronger, I no longer feel guilty of honoring my needs and feelings. I more and more understand the wisdom of Don Miguel’s 2nd and 3rd agreement:
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
The steps to being mentally healthy is knowing that the each one is different, but I am not going to suppress my uniqueness to satisfy another persons warped perceptions. I feel brave and strong to stand for who I am. I may be filled with doubt, but I still trust my soul’s direction.
Rudyard Kipling’s poem IF... lucidly elucidates the state of being of a mentally healthy and strong person.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
Every time I feel little lost in the treacherous pitfalls of being puppet, pulled by the strings of rejection, invalidation and non-acceptance, I go back to this poem for strength and inspiration. It is important to read inspiring words, listen to inspiring songs and watch inspiring movies that show us how to stand up for ourselves and move forward.
PHIL COLLINS – I DON’T CARE ANYMORE
So get out of my way.
Let me by I got better things to do with my time
I don’t care anymore D’you hear?
I don’t care anymore
I don’t care no more You listening?
I don’t care no more
When one talks of recovery from the past and post traumatic growth, the single most important aspect of healing and becoming whole is not being affected by the outside world. One’s inner locus is fixed at a point of unconditional acceptance of our true selves. We can agree, disagree, accept or not accept, we don’t have to change like chameleons to blend with the outside environment. Like Rhett Butler in the movie Gone with the Wind, I can truly say “ Frankly, my dear I don’t give a damn”, what you think of me. I like being ME.
Further Inspiration to help you not give a damn:
10+ People Who Absolutely Don’t Give A Damn (Just for laughs)
The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert