What if you didn’t give a shit?
Really didn’t give a shit. Not the “I don’t give a shit” you bravely spout after someone has stomped on your mojo and you’re protecting yourself from embarrassment/shame/hurt.
What if you were attuned to the voice inside—you know the one–in the deep recesses? The one that sometimes only dares to come out late at night when you’ve coaxed it with wine and solitude and, possibly, cupcakes?
Oh, the things you might do.
Things that might get talked about.
Instead of sticking with a patriarchal church that celebrates women only in “appropriate” roles, you church shop for the Sunday peeps that will speak to your soul and celebrate you in any role you take on.
You may have to sidle through the Church of Overly Artsy People Who Only Wear Black Turtlenecks, the Temple of Those Who Believe in Forest Nymphs and the Chapel of Overly Effusive Huggers, as well as the Bitter and Excommunicated So We Formed Our Own Group Filled with Toxic Sarcasm. Rest assured, you will eventually find, or form, a group that feeds your soul. But only if you don’t give a shit while the Judgers tell you to come back to what you know, even if it’s all wrong for you.
What if you told everyone that deep down inside, you really do think you will publish a play or a book, start your own bakery, golf the perfect game? What if we all shared the “impossible” dream we keep a secret because, Sugarpie, wouldn’t we look foolish if everyone knew?
Psst. Guess what? The ones that applaud this dream are the keepers. The naysayers will just gossip behind your back and still show up for your debut smiling beatifically and stating they “knew you could do it all along.”
What if you finally admitted to yourself that you’re bored to tears with the Wednesday night crowd you’ve hung out with for the past several years? And you faced your fear of loneliness by enrolling in a class, a volunteer group or the Church of Solo Wednesday Nights, knowing temporary discomfort is better than feeding your soul with sheer boredom?
What if you didn’t hide your child’s struggles with drugs or depression? I’ve seen families come clean with a simple phrase, “heroin addiction,” after the death of a child. It hurt. I could see it hurt. But they had moved beyond caring about what people thought and into the space where they cared more about saving other people’s kids than about judgments regarding their parenting.
When you become truly authentic, you get finely tuned bullshit radar, like it or not. As someone prattles on about the latest vacation or the twins’ college choice, you see right through it. And silently predict the divorce that comes with the empty nest. I wonder how it would have felt had she been able to share her despair earlier instead of glossing over it with ski trips and college visits.
You end up, when you don’t give a shit, giving a shit. You silently send the prattler love and are the quiet presence that for some reason she cannot explain, she finally opens up to with a torrent of tears. You wish the people in all the various weird and sundry churches well and move on without judgment. You buoy up friends as they bake for their first function to see if their goods stand up to the taste test. As they act in the community theater play. As they join a golf league.
You don’t participate in the gossip that precedes the death of a child from heroin, the prolonged absence from school due to depression, the “sudden” divorce.
People who don’t give a shit heal the world in a very unorthodox and revolutionary way. They may not have set out to but living their truth transfigures everything. Sometimes, this is to their chagrin but always, it is to their advantage and ultimately, that of those around them. It’s hard to find fault with authenticity.
Armisted Maupin said: “The world changes in direct proportion to the number of people willing to be honest about their lives.”
Translation: Learn how not to give a shit.
Which will really make you give a shit, but only about the things that truly matter.
So you will live your truth because the voice is your truth and you have learned to trust it. It may even begin to speak to you in crowded rooms, sans wine and cupcakes.
And the world will spin and change, despite the fact this may never have been your intention.
27 Comments Add yours
Bullshit radar, that is something i need. Absolutely need
Wow, Kay, I love this! From now on, I’m going to try not giving a shit. ❤
I love this so hard I can’t even find words!
I guess this all means being true to oneself. That’s harder for some people than others. One nice thing about getting older is you get better at it, much better.
you mean create art for myself, write books without direction, listen to loud music while I work, ride my bike for shits & giggles, never wear a button down shirt again?
Yes, Jim! Esp. the shirt bit:).
Lol. I do all those things.
Yes, Kay, the first leap can free you, can’t it? Good work here, my friend.
I am currently mid battle with my family about living authentically. My fight is not sheltering our children from something ugly. I say the world is ugly and we need to show them how to navigate it. I love it when at times I can not give a shit.
Why is there no “love” button on WordPress?
Very candid…Kay! Very well said. Being authentic is a very rare commodity, and it takes going against the current to get there!
Ah, I see what you did there, Carl:). Thank you for the kind words and for stopping by!
How is it you’ve got a knack for eloquently writing all the things that go through my mind (less eloquently)? I just spent the last several days saying, “I have a low tolerance for bullshit, and most of it is bullshit.” I agree with this post, 100%.
I guess I’d be a piss-poor writer if I couldn’t do that:)! Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad they resonated.
I loved this: Armisted Maupin said: “The world changes in direct proportion to the number of people willing to be honest about their lives.”
I really do wish I didn’t give a shit! I give less of a shit than I used to – I’m hoping I’ll care less and less the older I get 🙂
too funny! and just as true (& timely). i have a BSR module in my workshops on identity. Who knew being mouthy actually a virtue of sorts. Love this post…one of your best.
Thank you:). What a great module to have. So many people haven’t discovered theirs even into middle age . . .
This is… Pardon my French, powerful shit! That is the greatest mountain to climb, speaking truth to ourselves, often we opt for the easier course of action, denying what we know to be true. Thanks for putting this out into the Universe!
“This is powerful shit” is probably one of the best compliments I’ve gotten on my writing! No pardon necessary:). Thanks for reading and the kind words . . .
Your authenticity is one of your finest attributes, my friend. Another thoughtful post. Well said! xo
“It’s hard to find fault with authenticity.” Stunning line that, and this post, stellar. Thanks, Kay.
Thank you for reading so thoughtfully each time . . . and for the kind words.
Yes! This!! Not giving a shit is a wonderful place to be. Being authentic is the only place I feel comfortable these days. Yes, from time to time I slip into being not 100% authentic because there is still a little girl deep inside me who acts up and is afraid of judgment. But most of the time she’s happy and quiet. One of the biggest challenges for me is when my son’s anxiety is up in arms, messing with his mind and making him miserable, and I want to scream at the world about it. (It’s one of the few things that really sets me off). But I know few people who can truly hold space for me in these times. Few people who can just be there, not judge, not try to fix.
I’m so glad you do know those few people. That’s a sacred job!
Very beautifully written Kay, and a truth like no other. That is really understanding the heart within and leading from it 🙂