Monday, July 12, 2010

People Who Mind & People Who Matter

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter 
and those who matter don't mind."
Dr. Suess

It's always been important to me to always speak my truth, to live my life with integrity. I'm so far from perfect, but I do always make sure that I never do or say anything about someone that I wouldn't do or say to their face. And over the last year I have learned how important it is to not pass judgement on others. We never can truly know what is going on in a person's life that causes them to make the choices that they make. With absolute certainty I know that judging a person without having walked in their exact footsteps (impossible!!) is completely uncalled for and only leads to unhappiness. 

It seems like since I became pregnant with my twins it became more noticeable to me how judgmental others can be. Carrying twins and then being in public with your darling duo is a very curious thing to most folks. I remember when my girls were infants we stopped using the double stroller because people would constantly stop us. It was much easier for Brett and I to each pack a baby and it seemed to avoid the constant comments. Don't get me wrong, the curiosity is sweet to a degree, but when you're trying to get something done and on limited time it's not very convenient. Complete strangers also seem (even to this day) to think that they should be privy to my sex life. We often got asked: "Are they natural?" or "Did you do IVF?" or sometimes even "How did you get them?" I think it became comical to both of us to simply respond with: "No, we just had sex." This was my first exposure to feeling really "in the spotlight" that would seem to be a theme for the next few years to come. 

When I started competing people around my gym seemed to take more of an interest in me. I pretty much operate in my own little world when I train, so most of this goes unnoticed. I have received a great deal of support from most of the people at my gym, a lot of very positive encouragement. However, there were those groups of people who took my competing as an opportunity to pass judgment, make up stories and attempt to make life difficult for me. For me there is really only one option in dealing with people like this: ignore them! These are the people who hate to see you successful and find great pleasure when you fail.

Over the last few months as I've been working on getting things back to normal with my body, I've again gotten the unsolicited opinions from people, many of which I don't even KNOW!!! Yet, they know me by name and somehow feel compelled to tell me what they if I cared. There are some days when I've been really down and really frustrated and I've let these people, with their unsolicited opinions, get to me. When I'm a size 2 they tell me I'm too skinny and ask me why I'm doing so much cardio. When I'm a size 6, suddenly I'm "fat" and "what the hell happened to her?"

It's been a real eye opening experience for me. Firstly, because it has made me realize that I can't let myself be bothered by the "people who mind", because they really don't matter. I don't make my decisions around concern of what people are going to think about me. I can't. But more importantly it has really opened my eyes to the people in my life who do matter and don't mind. No matter what I do, no matter how big I screw up, those people who matter don't even care, they love me regardless. I know that I'm truly blessed to be surrounded by an amazing group of friends and family who support me no matter what. I have recently found myself craving time with these friends. It has been very comforting and therapeutic for me to be around my people who matter. It reminds me of who I am and that it doesn't matter if I'm a size 2 or a 6, I'm still the same person.

All of my experiences over the last year have really taught me a lesson in passing judgment on people. You never know by the outside what someone is dealing with in their own life. Have patience and compassion for yourself and then you'll find that you have much more patience and compassion for others. 

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