I recently saw a quote that said:
The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think.
Somehow, that resonates much deeper than the standard “don’t worry about what other people think” one liner. That just makes me think “don’t boss me.”
I mean, it’s probably not a bad idea to care a little bit about what other people think… especially if it motivates you to do things like brush your hair and to change out of your food splattered yoga pants before leaving the house. But maybe not caring so much that it paralyzes you from trying new things or being an authentic version of yourself. In that case, forget everybody. Do what you want! (Whoops, I think I’m bossing you.)
I am not completely free from the Fear Prison, but I’m working on it. For instance, take this omelet:
There’s lots of room for worrying what other people will think here.
On one hand, I want to say “HEY! This Ham, Artichoke, Spinach and Provolone omelet was crazy delicious! And it powered me through a morning of laundry, driving kids around and chasing a toddler! WOOOOO vegetables at breakfast rule! They make you feel FANTASTIC!”
But then the part of me who is living in the Fear Prison is thinking “Those are CANNED artichoke hearts. Not everyone is going to approve of that. That is deli ham. Some people aren’t going to think that’s so great either. And those eggs look a little brown because I had the heat up too high, they’re not perfect enough for a photo. Sheesh lady, what’s with you and all that pepper?”
But then I decided that people of the Internet need to know that artichokes make a fabulous omelet addition, canned or uncanned. And so I let the BPA flag fly.
(And if you don’t have time for omelet making in the morning, then let me suggest a Ham Artichoke Spinach and Cheese Frittata for dinner tonight and then have leftovers as fast, portable egg and veggie breakfast tomorrow morning?)
If we must worry about what someone thinks about us, then let’s just choose worry about what the cat thinks.
Why yes, Cat. Yes I am taking pictures of my food again. What of it?
And so this is what I’ve been mulling over for a number of weeks now, ever since reading that quote. When I find myself worrying about something, it’s very often rooted in a fear of what other people will think. You know what? Let’s blow this pop stand! Let’s care a little, but not so much that it holds us back from trying something new, being ourselves or doing the things we love.
If living in fear of what other people think is a prison, then we are the ones who are holding ourselves hostage. You are the only one who can free yourself.
(I do recommend brushing your hair, dusting the crumbs off your yoga pants and eating lots of vegetables this weekend though.) (More bossing. And who cares what I think.)