You may have heard the saying “Other people’s opinions of me are none of my business.” There is truth to this, and we shouldn’t base our lives on what other people think of us. Sometimes though, other people’s thoughts towards us can be kinder than our own thoughts.
It has been difficult for me to admit that I have gained weight during the pandemic. I mean, for real? I’m a health coach and I’m surrounded by other health coaches who killed it during the pandemic with building their businesses and getting in the best shape of their lives. I, on the other hand, took quarantining to a new level in terms of Netflix and DoorDash.
In taking a good look at what I was actually doing versus what I knew myself to be, I knew things had to change. I feel so much better when I get outside, so I wanted to start by walking on a regular basis. Problem was, my inner talk went like this “I have gained so much weight, I don’t want my neighbors to see me like this.” Nonetheless, I went out…in my leggings and tank top. I didn’t get to the edge of my house before neighbors that I hadn’t seen in a year pulled up and chatted with me for a half hour. Sigh, so much for not wanting to be seen.
I continued on, really I plodded on, but I kept going. Day after day, I kept walking, still hearing my ideas of other people’s opinions about me in my head each time. Today though, that all changed. One of my neighbors came running out of her house to thank me for helping another neighbor yesterday. When I left, she said “You’re so pretty, inside and out.” As I thanked her, I thought, “Huh, that’s nice.” and kept walking. About 15 minutes later a woman called out from her front porch that she sees me every day and she was proud of me. Finally, when I went home, my neighbor had a guest walking up her steps. This woman turned around and said “You’re the woman who gave Margaret flowers last year when she was going through a rough time.” I said “Yes, I was.” and she said “She was so touched that she cried, and every time I see your car I say a prayer for you.” I had NO idea who this woman was who has been praying for me for a year now, but I felt her prayers.
If you’re feeling insecure, know that somebody looks at you and sees beauty. If you’re feeling judged, know that somebody looks at you and is inspired. Most importantly, know that somebody saw the small act of kindness that you had forgotten about and sends up prayers for you often.