Day 22…Who cares what other people think about me?

Day 22 without non-hygienic beauty products

When considering the above question, who cares what other people think about me, my answer is a resounding, “I CARE!!!”  Anyone who can cooly say that they don’t care a lick about what other people think of them is mostly likely deceiving themselves.  When we are really honest with ourselves and others, we do care what other people think about us and we should.  If we are to truly live in covenantal relationship with one another we must–on some level–care what others think about our lives and how we live.

Now, we do have to distinguish between people offering helpful, constructive thoughts on our appearance or actions and people who are thoughtless, critical, difficult people. The people who love us can offer constructive comments that are thoughtfully presented in a loving, caring way.  These offerings come from people who truly love us and want the best for our lives.  If my husband were to say to me sometime before Lent was over that he really thinks I ought to never wear makeup again, I would want to listen to that and consider what he’s saying.  I might not follow his advice, but I know that he loves me enough to reflect on my practice right alongside me and only offer thoughts that are in my best interest.

One of the phrases we talk about quite a bit with our staff is “Don’t listen to the shouting.”  The shouting to which we are referring doesn’t always come in the form of loud words.  The shouting represents people who don’t carefully reflect, who often speak out of a need to be heard rather than our need to change a specific action.  It’s taken me years to set aside the shouting, because I have been brought up to believe that everyone has my best interest at hand.  Thanks be to God that this is the lens through which I experience life.  Still though, there are times when letting go of the shouts is extremely difficult.  It’s a work in progress.  I pray about it a lot.

So the bottom line today is that I do care what my closest friends and family members think of me.  I also care what acquaintances think when it is presented in a helpful way, using words carefully, and when a specific action of change is desired and is possible.  I work hard to set aside the “shouting”…the complaining, the thoughtless throw away comments that people with whom I interact sometime say flippantly without thinking.  It is my hope that you can embrace the reflections of those who love you and want the best for you and that you can work right alongside me to let go of the hurtful things we all too often hear.  Here’s to letting go!

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