Greatest Life Lesson.

I watched one of Oprah’s Life Classes recently and was struck by what one of the guest said, and have been pondering it ever sense. But it wasn’t until yesterday that I believed it, and realized how true it really is.

 To paraphrase:
 Peoples words and opinions to and about you, are just that; words and opinions. They don’t on their own merit, hold any weight in your life. It’s our decision if we chose to give them weight and meaning. 
Our decision.
Think about that, not for a minute but for the rest of your life. Let it sink in.
People’s words and opinions are meaningless, unless we decide they are valuable enough to give them meaning.
We make that choice.
Not them.
Words can no longer cut me. Control my emotions, predict my future. They are meaningless unless I chose to make them valid.
Think about the worst insult you ever received. Something that cut to the core of you, that made all your insecurities rise to the top, that made you question who you are and what you’re capable of. Think of that, the most hurtful thing anyone ever said to you… Was it TRUE? Was it actually who you are? Or was it someone’s opinion of who you are? Did you give that weight in your life? Did it haunt and destroy you? Threaten to? How did you react? Did you believe it? If someone said it, it must be true right?
Everyone is entitled to their opinions, even of you. That does NOT make it fact, or real, or true. It makes it one person’s OPINION of you. That’s it.
The only time those words or opinions matter to you is when you allow them to matter, and allow them to create their destructive intentions in your life. But just as easily as they came flying at you like a
switchblade to your gut, you can control if it leaves a wound or a scar. You can put on the protection needed to let it bounce off and leave you unscathed.
So this is what made the light bulb go off in my head last night…
Two years ago I met someone who turned out, to let’s just say be one of those people who enjoys cutting other people down. Specializes in throwing switchblades,  and is oddly good at getting them to stick, at least where I was concerned.
We had finally parted ways when he let me know in the most disturbing and hurtful way that not only was I unattractive, but I was in fact repulsive AND the all dreaded…..fat. Yup! I was a “fatty” (same size then as now, BTW). Being newly single from my marriage, I was understandably devastated. I had little or no self-esteem at the time, and my weight had been a lifelong “don’t go there” subject.  Not only that but I had just dropped about 40lbs and was finally starting to feel sexy and “normal”. No question this was the worst of the worst. I can’t lie; it fucked my mind up, bad for a long time.
But two years have gone by and the past 18 months or so I’ve learned how to control my thoughts and therefore my life (am learning to I should say), and so I’ve worked through all that and moved on to a happy place.
Well wouldn’t you know it, whenever you think you got it on lock that’s when you are tested to see how you handle under pressure.  Believing and knowing what to do is all well and good when everything is going your way, but can you stick to it when the shit hits the fan?
So who reappeared in my life?? Yup! And me being me, I believe he deserved a second chance at being in my circle. I’m living proof that people can change, so who am I to judge? All was forgiven.
We began to rebuild a friendship over the past few months, and though rocky at points I felt he had made some good progress the past 2 years. And then last night….. There it was again. Yep! He was unhappy with me and out it came… same words as last time. He was so hopeful it would have the
same reaction too. That I’d be angry, that I’d lash out. That I’d be devastated.
But suddenly it was just funny to me.
I realized so clearly, that if that was his opinion of me then of course he is entitled to it. If a “good body” means a size 4 to him, then he is right. I am NOT a size 4. I WILL NEVER BE A SIZE 4. But even more
importantly I realized I NEVER WANT to be a size 4. NEVER. EVER. Even if I could wave a magic wand, I don’t want that, it’s NOT who I am, or want to be. It’s just not me.
So my reply was; you’re right. You like small chicks, I’m not one. I’m a curvy chick, so it stands to
reason that guys who are drawn to curvy chicks would like me, and you wouldn’t, its common sense. It’s like comparing apples to oranges, irrelevant argument. 
What had hurt me so bad before, now made me laugh. Made me realize how ridiculous this stab really was. It was his attempt to hurt me because he assumed I wanted to be a skinny chick and that there was only one universal definition of beauty.
There is not: One.Universal.Definition of beauty.
Some guys like curves, some guys like skinny. To each his own. Thank the lord there are all kinds of women out there who are beautiful and men who find them that way. It’s not wrong or right, its apples and oranges.
I love how I look; this is how I WANT to look. I’m working with a trainer to be my absolute healthiest
and in the best shape I can be, but I don’t want to lose a million lbs. (did I just say that??… god I am growing as a person!!!) but I really don’t. A few is fine, but I’d rather have what I have, the way I am then trade it for something
I’m definitely NOT.
This is me; it’s what makes me who I am. (Why the hell did it take me 36 years to embrace this??? Smh).
So other peoples words and opinions are just that, everyone is entitled to them. They are not the literal equivalent in our lives. They are projections on us, not actually us. They bear no legitimate meaning
to us, unless we WANT them to.
The first time he said it, I was insulted I wanted to believe that about myself, clearly I didn’t know it at the time, it was subconscious. But it was the Law of Attraction bringing me the negative validation I was
putting out into the world.  Remember the LOA brings what we think about good or bad. This time, I was able to instantly recognize this as a weightless, useless comment and let it roll off me like a waxed car
in a rain storm. It was irrelevant to my life, just someone’s useless words and opinions that don’t deserve validation.
What a ridiculously liberating thought.

Strange how breakthroughs can come when someone is trying to break you. How powerful to know that you have enough control of yourself, feelings and emotions to deflect what is useless and keep driving, even in the rain. 

P.S. Love and embrace yourself and all your flaws and imperfections. When I started to do so, I became my authentic self for the first time in my life. I love my imperfections, they are what allow me to live without stress, trying to be perfect is such a stressful job! ugh, done with that!

Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

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One comment

  • Anonymous
    January 1, 2012 - 5:16 am | Permalink

    Heyy. I totally agree with you on this life lesson. Really, it doesn’t matter what others say about us unless we decide to give it some sort of importance 😀

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