Your opinion of me is none of my business

There are thoughts I hold true to myself that are hard to practice. And living a spiritual life is more about the practice and living of it than overtly teaching it to others. (At least that’s what I’ve decided to believe for myself as I don’t seem to be becoming an overt spiritual teacher any time soon.)

The knowing that others’ opinion of me is none of my business is one of those. I know it’s true. And yet.

I went about my early years as if to prove that I didn’t care what others thought. I remember as a pre-teen and early teen that I liked to say things to deliberately shock people (yes, I know, pay back is coming soon in the form of my own children).

Of course, I hung out at bars and beach clubs a lot (I was in Barbados, after all, jam packed full of tourists and locals drinking and soaking up the sun). And the people around me certainly said a lot of shocking things themselves — like the 40-year-old American man who asked my 14-year-old self if I’d ever like to be with someone older. I didn’t look 14. But still. And it was a more colorful question than that.

In high school, I quickly learned the best way to stay safe from the after school gangs of teenage thugs was to out-pysch-the-psychos.

I became quick with the comebacks. Them: “Oh, girl, you cold!”

And the threats. Me: “Ever been hospitalized with multiple stab wounds from a ball point pen?”

And I kept trying to dye my hair purple. I always felt very odd and different compared to my peers anyway.

Throughout all those years, people had lots of opinions of me. Generally not positive.

These days, in general, I think it’s safe to say that’s changed. A friend at church made the comment recently that anyone looking at me would see a conservative-looking woman. Little would they know, she added, that I could also rock out on a purple guitar. She meant it as a compliment. But what stuck with me was “conservative-looking woman.”

How the bloody hell did that happen?

I had thought, that morning, as I chose some earrings, that I am becoming more and more like my mum. I prefer not to leave the house without earrings. And I wasn’t pleased about going to church without my face on (I had to be there early for songleading), even though I brought my makeup bag with me.

But I suppose from the outside, I have become quite respectable looking. Which is generally OK. My mum was a beautiful, elegant, sexy woman. Looking like her is not a bad thing. Being too concerned with how others see me, though, is.

Shell in space

Which caused me to continue pondering getting another tattoo. It feels like it’s time. But of what?

When I find my mind wandering (which is a lot), I bring myself back to focus with the phrase, “Be. Here. Now.” I need an image connected to that, to spirit, to my mum, to myself. I think a nautilus shell would be a good image.

Some ideas. OK, I only found one so far.

Where? Inside my left wrist.

Why? Because it’s time for more outward expression of who I am. And the purple guitar is a bit awkward to carry around everywhere.



One thought on “Your opinion of me is none of my business

  1. Joanna, if you have a chance, read a book called Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindberg.

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