I’ve suddenly become obsessed with inspirational quotes. Looking for necklaces with “life is wonderful”, prints for my house which encapsulate the way I feel right now (mostly from Alice in Wonderland actually!)… Normally I look down on such things as smug, twee and beneath me – but there have been a few which have called to me and none more so than this one. It’s from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein … “Beware, for I am fearless and therefore powerful. I will watch with the wiliness of a snake, that I may sting with its venom. Man, you shall repent of the injuries you inflict.”
It’s really not like I’m the vengeful type and am not looking to inflict any snake stings on my ex lover I can assure you, but what does appeal to me is the possibility of fearlessness. It’s a state I think I am pretty close to these days. OK if you sent me into a tent full of spiders or snakes, or I had to walk barefoot in the jungle – well that might be a different matter, but where I am not afraid at all, is about what people think about me. I think the fear of what other’s think is the thing which stops most people in life.
I learnt long ago that everyone has an opinion. Human beings are built to make judgements on each other. Walking down the street I frequently think “what was she thinking of when she put that on this morning?” and I am sure people think the same of me. I judge people (mostly kindly, but not always) on their efficacity, their lifestyle, what they eat, what they look like. These days my judgements are kinder and less frequent than they used to be. I think it is part of getting older and wiser that we become a lot gentler and more empathetic with each other.
His wife once said, so he recounted “Look at that woman’s twitter feed. You can see she is a massive flirt and self publicist”. And her point? I would not deny either of these things and they are part of the two sides of the coin which work so well for me and don’t work at the extreme.
For me, once you know yourself well, the good and the bad and can be honest about that, what can people say about you which can hurt? And if you know they are all going to judge anyway, then you might as well get on and do what you feel like.
Having gone through a divorce, moved countries a few times, recreated my life it really doesn’t feel like there is much to fear. Oh except for the tent full of snakes….