I care about a lot of things. I’m lucky that I get to spend my days doing something I care about very much, which is blazing a trail of self-discovery for other stepmoms who can benefit from things I have already learned. I think of myself as a pretty caring person.
That’s why I had a kind of revelation listening to a lecture by Esther Hicks, the wise motivational speaker for spiritually oriented people. She said something that really caught my attention:
“What I don’t care about are conditions I cannot control. I have trained myself to care about what lifts me, not what lowers me. I care about fulfilling my reason for being here. What I don’t care about is everything I can’t control, everything conditional.”
Why did this make such an impression on me? There is something about it that sounds kind of heartless. Aren’t we supposed to care about others, to be selfless?
For some of us, saying “I don’t care!” makes us feel selfish. I don’t think that’s the meaning of what Esther Hicks is saying at all. It doesn’t mean I don’t care, as in “I could care less about this, or about you”. I think that ‘care’ here means something we have lots of other words for, like:
‘spend too much energy on’
‘think all the time about’
‘feel responsible for’
‘feel bad about’ or
‘try to fix’.
Aha! When you think of it that way, it makes more sense, right? Of course you shouldn’t worry about things that you can’t control. You probably even tell your friends something like that from time to time when they complain about what they ‘feel bad about’ or are trying in vain to ‘fix’.
This is just another way of expressing the words of the famous Serenity Prayer that goes:
“Lord, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
As stepmoms, our lives are just chock full of conditions we can’t control.
In particular, there is one great big walking, talking condition called the ex-wife/bio-mom who often (or continuously) says and does stuff we don’t like and can’t control. The more we let our mental attention hang out around her, whether it’s her influence on the kids or her interference in our lives, the farther we get from being lifted up. From finding happiness, from fulfilling our reason for being.
Train yourself, as Esther Hicks says, to care less. While you’re at it, care less about whoever you feel watching or judging you. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about them as human beings, just care less about whatever they think of you.
Your MIL doesn’t like you? Give yourself permission to not care about that, too!
Start to notice when you are caring about the wrong stuff and find ways to change the channel. That’s what mindfulness is. You can learn to be the boss of what you think about!
Here’s a secret – it’s actually all about YOU, it really is. It’s not about them at all.
You can afford to care less about lots of stuff. Make an effort to put your attention on what makes you happy, what you are aiming towards, where your joy is waiting for you.
With lots of care for you, who make time for me in your busy life,
p.s. If you enjoyed this post you might be interested in a free training I am offering called “Your Big Hairy HCBM Problems Solved!’ You’ll learn my 3-prong strategy for dialing back the drama and regaining control over your own household. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP!