Besmirched: Does it Really Matter What Other People Think? July 29, 2013 • 3 Comments For a moment, imagine you have just discovered that your husband of twenty-odd years has betrayed you, in a multitude of ways (perhaps you have been in my shoes and do not need to use your imagination.) I hate to say this, but the mind often wanders into the wilds of “what other people think,” or at least mine did during the first few weeks after the discoveries. As I look back on that time now, with the benefit of three years of simple, blessed time (time does heal, though I didn’t believe it at first), and a boatload of soul searching, I see the folly of this mental process. How it can send us reeling into the wrong places when our energy should be utilized to ground and center, and not to be sent out on hopeless reconnaissance missions to assess popular opinion. Concerning myself with what other people thought briefly incapacitated me. Here is what I felt: Embarrassment. Shame. Humiliation. Despair. In spite of those very real feelings, it did not change the facts of what happened. At the end of the day, no one else was making the grueling journey down this particular road strewn with potholes and landmines, in my shoes, which unfortunately fit on my feet like Cinderella’s glass slippers. No prince charming at the other end. What other people think is what other people think. I know that I have been guilty of drawing conclusions, or filling in the blanks about the happenings in other people’s lives. There is an instant inclination to surmise, speculate and size up the information before us. It could be a way of trying to figure out if we might end up with the same fate, “Is my husband cheating on me?” Or, a way to distance ourselves from the fallen, “My husband would never do that.” It could also be plain old-fashioned gossip, which I hate to admit I have been guilty of as well. When I put myself under this lens, I can see it says more about me than the person I am speaking about, but sometimes it is hard to resist because the mysteries of human behavior truly fascinate me. In any case, in the face of tragic or scandalous circumstances, what other people think is largely irrelevant. What matters is within. I arrived at this after discovering that much of what was being said was untrue or exaggerated. I had to decide, did I want to spend my time and energy trying to explain myself and to make people see things my way, or did I want to heal? Quite frankly, I wanted to heal and I have realized my energy is a precious and limited resource that I must manage well and cultivate, or else I will collapse. The rumor mill is no place for a healing heart. When the dust settled and there were misunderstandings about what happened in the minds of those I cared about, I made an effort to illuminate them. It came from a place of strength and compassion rather than a desire to make myself look better. I no longer cared about the outcome, because I had settled into the richly fertile soil of my truth: the good, the bad and the ugly. I am not suggesting we shouldn’t notice other’s opinions. I’m merely saying we should diminish their importance in determining our own course of action in life, especially when recovering from trauma. Be brave and stay true to your own inner wisdom. -db Who is Dianna Bonny? Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.