How much of what we experience in our lives is factual? I know with our current state of the media, often times what is reported as fact is really someone’s opinion stated as if it was factual. Most people who watch it think “If it’s reported as news, it must be true.”
To take that comment on a more personal level, if someone of perceived authority says to us, “you’re stupid”, “you’re smart”, “you’re skinny”, “you’re fat”, “you’re ugly”, “you’re pretty”, “you’re a klutz”, “you’re a jerk”, “you’re a sweetheart”, etc”, well then it must be true…why would this person lie. All of those statements are opinions; and some can hurt. Statements of fact would be more like “you’re 5’2″ tall”, “you have blue eyes”, or “you weigh 150 lbs.”
How much of what we’ve been told over the years have we accepted as fact when in reality it is opinion? As a kid I spilled milk at the dinner table a couple of times and from that point on “they” called me a klutz…which I bought into and accepted as a fact for a good portion of my life. And yes, I have cried about it on a few occasions.
For years I hated meatloaf and declared it as if it were fact. Then one day, as an adult, I decided to make a meatloaf and found out that I love it! While that too is an opinion, it’s an opinion made after testing out my previous opinion. In another experiment I found out that “yep…I hate peas.” Still an opinion however I based it upon testing it’s validity.
A fact is black and white…it either is or it isn’t. Opinions, however, can change…and opinions vary based on perspective or context (one woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure). If I stand next to a person who weighs 102 lbs, I would be considered overweight. On the other hand, if I stand next to a morbidly obese person, I would be considered thin.
My father calls himself stupid because while growing up during the depression he had to drop out of school to help support the family. To me he’s a genius…and I make sure to tell him often. He can walk into a room and tell you how much dry wall it would take to cover the walls just by visually scanning the room. He can calculate in his head, in fractions, measurements for perfectly installing a door, building a house, making a wooden rocking horse, and so on. My dad considers himself stupid because he lacks book smarts. I tell you this, when it comes to carpentry and all things construction I’d go to my dad before I’d go to any professor at MIT. Being “stupid” is an opinion.
In my opinion I consider myself to be fat (the medical industry calls me overweight). However calling myself fat is yet another way to belittle myself and sabotage my overall well-being. The fact is, I weigh 150 lbs. Looking at it from a factual perspective, I can choose to continue to be 150 lbs or I can choose to do something different. Regardless, I am worthwhile and deserve to be happy and at peace with myself.
As we go about the month of May, let’s pay attention to the comments we make to others and especially the ones to ourselves. Is what we’re saying a fact or opinion? If it is an opinion, is it the truth? From where did this opinion originate?
Affirmation for the month:
Even though I am (fill in the blank), I am worthwhile and deserve to be happy and at peace with myself just as I am.
Keep the affirmations in the positive and factual vs opinion. Examples:
- Instead of saying ‘even though I am fat…’ say “even though my body weighs 150 lbs…”
- Instead of saying ‘even though I’m stupid…’ say “even though I dropped out of school…” (or whatever the basis is for you thinking you’re “stupid”)
- Instead of saying ‘even though I can’t afford to buy a new computer… ‘ say “even though I currently lack the funds to buy a new computer…”
Feel free to share any affirmations you are using in the comment section.
Also…be sure to check out Section 5 of the Mandala of the Year.
joyfully, Maureen, The Mandala Lady
*IMHO – in my humble opinion