We all have them. We all value them. We want to share them and we definitely want to be asked for ours. They bubble up inside of us, sometimes against our better judgement. They blurt out sometimes, as if their tiny legs must carry them right out of your mouth, as you desperately try to capture them and hold them back. But they leap out and into the world and then they’re unbelievably hard to retrieve.
These opinions are unique to us and some of us have too many whereas others don’t have enough. I for one have always possessed more than my fair share of opinions. Not bad or good, just a lot of them. I think it comes from being an over-thinker and an over-analyser. Makes you over-opinionated. But over the years I’ve realised that opinions are just that; opinions. They don’t need to be rooted in fact, they’re mostly rooted in feelings and that’s what makes them dangerous.
What’s important here is to decipher what is an opinion and what is a fact. And this is is something I’ve struggled with my whole life. I have a tough time telling the difference between what is just an opinion and what is something that I actually need to pay heed to. And I give them far too much importance. Both mine and others. An opinion used to get my brain going into overdrive and an opinion used to throw me off. Make me question things, wonder where they’re coming from, how they got to being the way they are, etc. It was a long-winded process and it’s frustrating. Because when you think about it, someone else’s opinions have very little to do with you. It has everything to do with who they are, their circumstances, their predisposition and their situation in life. But when they express it, you forget all this. You become fixated on why it was expressed and how you contributed to it. But over the years, I’ve realised, you are purely the receiving end of the opinion. You have very little to contribute in its creation and it’s vocalisation. That is all on the expresser.
I think true peace of mind can be found when one can learn to decipher between what needs to be addressed and what should be respected as another’s opinion and disregarded as their expression; nothing more nothing less. The brain can be put to rest once you realise that it really doesn’t matter what people think and say. What matters is how you perceive the world and how you choose to deal with differing opinions. Every time I’ve spent time dissecting them, I’ve been mostly wrong and have wasted time. When I’ve been affected by them, its caused me to get upset, angry or confused, and a few days later I’ve realised, it was again a waste of time.
So how do you become opinion proof? By realising that it doesn’t matter. What people think, they’ll continue to think. What they feel, they’ll go on feeling, whether you’re around or not. The focus needs to be on living in a way that makes you feel like you’ve done all you can with integrity, with clarity of thought and with good intentions. That’s about all you can do and all you should do. Let the opinions fly about like insects. After all you can’t annihilate all the insects in the world right? Same goes for opinions.