Whose Opinion Really Matters?

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” – Steve Jobs

How many of us worry about what others think or feel about us? It is an essential in some certain circles. The professional circle comes to mind first but not as the most important. Work can be tricky, dicey at best, and a lot of times nobody even gives a true shit. It is all part of a big machine. What an awful thing to think or feel about a person’s professional life. The truth shall always set us free. Many people work in jobs where they as human beings do not make a difference. A lot of people can’t fathom work that way, so many people create their own value system for their job and the contributions they make. Hey whatever it takes to survive……

The second most important opinion in my guessing mind is the opinions our children hold towards us, their parents. Lots of people don’t have a child but most people are influential in at least one child’s life. What do they think of you? Do you even dare ask? Some days definitely not. My own child is a big over-achiever like myself. She is hard to impress,  not in  a cruel way. I know at this point I haven’t reached a point or she isn’t of the age to look up at me with awe, like I aspire will happen soon someday. I know what my child expectations are, and I have my checklist and know how to arrive on the right side of the tracks for her admiration. This has nothing to do with love or closeness, and she is awed by my achievements as a grade- schooler and prep school student. She is in awe of my athletic accomplishments which began to blossom right about now at her age, 13. I know she thinks I have done well at times and well not so well at others. I am not talking about her critique on my parenting I am referring to her critique on me in this big world. I have thought if I wanted to achieve “hero” status with my child could I and what would I need to do?. On the hero status she might already see me in some light as a hero of small proportions for the life bequeathed to me. I haven’t decided if that is important. Two things matter most to me of what my child thinks about me: am I a good person in her eyes, and am I the kind of person she likes. Silly, yes foolish but those two opinions of my child matter to me every single day. Oh I have had some douzey of a moment or two where my value went right out the door. Thankfully she loves me on a level with some unconditional child-parent love.

The opinion that matters the most to me in this world is MINE. I know my real deal, my excels and my flaws. My core and my soul. Nobody else gets an upfront seat of these elements of myself. When I think about Steve Jobs, the eccentric persona he compiled, I think that is the essence of the grown up I want to be. I have been an intentional work in progress since my divorce in 2012. I have my authentic persona which some is intentional and other parts are organic by nature. I have grown my own sense of style in this world, one that befits my person. I have thought hard about what elements of myself are the most important to me and where do I stand with them. Being a kind and compassionate person has probably become my new religion. With the world of hate, bigotry, inequality, and intolerance I have to work hard moment to the next moment to not be an angry person in this world. Legacy just hit the radar for me about six months ago. Do I have one, am I on the way to developing on, and do I want one and if so what is it to be?

I am not sure of anyone else but myself, but nobody is a harsher critic of themselves in totality than I am of myself. So far, approaching 40 there have been brief moments of clear awesome achievement of the entire cake of life. Most of my life, failings, not living up to my expectations, and lastly bad decisions, dampen my soul streaked in fiery wants and desires. All amongst the demons that I have been collecting along the way.

What I think matters most. First and always. Nobody but me is the leader of my circus of monkeys. Only I know my truth as I should understand it. There is only one greater being that trumps my opinion and that is God for me. I know not a lot of you do God so I will keep this simple and brief. I believe that God and only God can judge me outside of myself. Judgments and opinions are very close cousins.

Why do we let mere strangers have such a hold on our beings? Why do we let anyone but our own selves define ourselves? That is the ultimate question. When you start living your life and you are a kind and compassionate person, when you finally don’t give a fuck about your bystanders, your enemies, your naysayers,  you have attained a soul-filling freedom that so few are graced to experience.