Truthfully, at a certain point, we all stop caring about what people think. We get old enough and rack up enough GAS points to no longer Give A Shoot, if you know what I mean. But until we arrive at that cantankerous age, we seem to be stuck in a perpetual loop of caring a little too much about what others might think. As if their ill-willed thoughts would be immediately transmitted to a huge talking head on a large flat screen in our minds saying, “You suck and you are unworthy of your existence.” At which point we die, the end.

Stuck is the nature of human existence. We are pack animals whose worse fear is to be outcast. To live a life of shame of being less than. So, we keep ourselves on the QT, on the down low. We make everyone think we’re perfect and OK and Fine. While we live lives of fearful and silent desperation. Somehow instinctively we know to be terrified to be ourselves. Except, what else can we be? So, we’re screwed either way according to our instinctual reptilian brains.

What will they think when we tell them about our imperfections? About our bed-wetting problems as a child, our years of sleepless passionless nights, our mother’s illness, or our ridiculous inability to get beyond our fears to move on? Will we be stoned or scarlet lettered or shamed if we tell them about our abortions, out stays in the mental hospital, or our compulsive disorders?

What will they think on

What will they think? Perhaps what we all need specifically is to be asked to think a little more. Maybe we need to think about what it might be like to live with another’s problems, abuses, and dilemmas. Maybe we could stand the dose of compassion at the thought of what it might be like to be someone for whom no one ever showed up. Or we could stand to take a moment to think about anyone other than ourselves and our greed and our goods and our glamorous outsides.

I am here to share my stories in the hopes that they get people to think and to see themselves in my stories . And perhaps to stir up some self-compassion if these stories strike a note for them. Listening to one another without judgement and being open to be swayed into another point of view is exactly what community is all about. And I for one would like to lead us into a place of thoughtfulness by the example. There’s too many thoughtless examples. The scales need a radical tipping.

Any thoughts you are suddenly compelled to share, fire away. Have you hugged your kid today?

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