“We’re even entitled to opinions! And yes, we do have some of those. We can think appropriately and rationally. We even have the power to evaluate ourselves and our thoughts, so we can correct our thinking when it becomes disastrous or irrational.” -Melody Beattie, Codependent No More
Everyone knows not to care about what other people think right? It’s common knowledge to go with our own heart without listening to the opinions of others. We all know to do this, don’t we?
Well, we may know to follow our own heart, but can we all truly say that we do it all the time and in all areas of our lives? Can we truly say that the opinions of others have no bearing on the things we do and the decisions we make?
I know I can’t. There is a small part of me (it’s getting smaller and smaller) that wants to people-please and that wants people to like me. I want people’s opinions to be favorable, I want people to understand and validate the decisions I make. With that being said, as I was petting my cat Samson a few days ago, as he used me as a pillow, constricting my air supply, I began to reflect on an opinion someone had of me several years ago…
Before I became a cat mama, I lived alone and I thought that perhaps getting a cat may be a good idea. I was lonely and longed for some kind of connection. I had never been an “animal person,” but I figured cats were pretty self sufficient. I told a then “friend” my intentions. She told me that she didn’t think it was a good idea.
Cats are self sufficient, but they still take a lot of work. You have to clean their litter boxes daily, feed them, clean up after them. I’ve seen how you keep house. You don’t do laundry on a regular basis. I just don’t think you’re ready for that kind of responsibility.
So basically, my “friend” was telling me that I couldn’t be a cat mama because I was not June Cleaver. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, but my “friend” made a judgment about me based on what she saw externally. Not based upon what was going on in my heart.
This won’t be a long post. For those of you who know me, the rest is history. My Samson kitty kind of fell into my life and changed my life. Nearly 10 years later, he means the world to me. He has inspired my doctoral work. And I have taken good care of him, and he has taken good care of me. All of this despite my shortcomings in the housework arena.
The bottom line: Samson is still in my life. That “friend” is not.
Value people’s opinions that have earned the right to speak truth into your life, but always go with your own heart.