Does it really matter what other people think?

痩せて見える鏡I was at an event with my family on Saturday night.
All dressed up and fancy.
Fitted little black dress.
Feeling quite hot, if the truth be told.

We walked into a crowded room.
Not many seats left.
Had to walk across the front of the room to the remaining seats.

When I sat down, my mind started to spin.
All on it’s own.
“Was my stomach sticking out?”
“Could you see my stocking line?”
“I should have sucked my stomach in”
Tiny, barely audible voices that I almost didn’t hear.

I tuned into them because I felt a mild tightness in my head.
That’s my clue that my mind has started to play an ancient, well-worn record that no longer serves me.
And if I don’t tune in, it will replay endlessly,
until I’m exhausted,
or get angry at whoever is near me,
or overeat. 

So I pay close attention to my bodily sensations.
Soft and still tell me my mind is clear and often empty.
Tight is always my sign that my mind needs some attention.

So I listened in to the voices.
For a few moments I actually believed them.
Believed that this was a real problem.

Until.
A soft, certain voice inside me said “it doesn’t matter
and I instantly softened.
My body relaxed and I immediately saw the truth of this:
it really doesn’t matter if my stomach was sticking out and everyone saw,
or my stocking line was pinching my waist, and everyone saw.
Nothing would change in my life if they did.

Not one thing.

I recognized this to be truth, with absolute clarity.
And it changed my entire experience of that event.
I relaxed into my chair,
Turned to play with my daughter’s hair,
and swam in the stillness of the moment.

How many times have we worried about what other people know or see about us,
without ever questioning whether it matters?

Every time I ask a client “so what if they saw/knew”
they stop, think, and then say “so nothing”.

Sometimes they’ll protest a bit and tell me what the implications are,
and if I keep asking “so what”
eventually we always get to the same place.

It really doesn’t matter.

I’m still me.

Here.

Present.

Alive.

Choosing how I experience this moment.

P.S. Just in case this post has led you to believe I’m overly enlightened, when I went to the washroom, I did a quick mirror check:
Stomach? Flat (for me).
Stocking line? Invisible.
Overall? Looking good (to me). And really, what else matters?

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About Forever Free with Bev Aron, Certified Weight Loss Coach

I work with emotional eaters who desperately want relief from emotional eating, but can't seem to do it on their own. They know they need to eat less and move more, but can't figure out why they aren't doing it. My specialty is showing them the why and the how. I also work with parents who are worried about their children's weight. I help those parents encourage their children to have a healthy body image and a healthy relationship with food.
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