In Others’ Words: Do You Love Me?
Ah, the influence of others’ in our lives … the Voices of Authority, if you will.
In recent years I’ve been challenged again and again, asked “Who are the Voices of Authority in your life, Beth?”
And I’ve come to realize some of the voices that held sway over me had no right to do so. Yes, they had power. Yes, I had even acquiesced to their opinions of me … but I’d chosen poorly when I allowed them to become Voices of Authority in my life.
I like Brené Brown’s approach to how she decided whose opinions of her matter. First, the list is short — she carries a “small sheet of paper in her wallet” with names on it. This is not a looooong list of people, a come-one, come-all approach. No, she’s discerning. Selective. Careful.
And people don’t get to decide to be on that list. No. Brown has established the two requirements — boundaries, if you will — for people’s opinions of her to matter to her: People must love her for her strengths and for her struggles.
I like those standards. Voices of authority — the opinions that should matter about me — should be steeped in love. And the people on this short list should accept me for who I am, not demand that I be disingenous for the sake of their comfort or to meet their expectations of what is acceptable. I am allowed to be strong … and I am allowed to be imperfect.
I am allowed to be real … and I offer the same back to others.
In Your Words: If you had a list of names in your wallet of people whose opinions of you mattered, who would be on that list? And what would they need to do to be on that list?
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