Nov 10, 2013

I Don't Care?

There once was a boy named Pierre. Who only would say, "I don't care." Read his story my friend for you'll find at the end that a suitable moral lies there,"
Maurice Sendak

Many many years ago when I was a wee little lass I was introduced to a teeny tiny blue and yellow book about a boy named Pierre. It is a cautionary tale. And due to the fact that Carole King actually sang the words of this book I have it completely memorized and of course my children also grew up reading about onery little Pierre....and hearing the song.

I used to not understand Pierre because 99% of the book Pierre did not care.....about anything. His parents spend oh so much time begging him to care. They offer many things to him if he would just care about something but he just keeps declaring, to everything, the words, "I don't care." After being swallowed whole by a lion and miraculously surviving it turns out in the end that Pierre does care. If you get a minute it really is worth it to Google "Pierre and Carole King" and watch the Youtube video of the song it truly is fabulous.

I have never ever understood the not caring thing. My whole entire life I have been the opposite of Pierre in every way. Caring way too much about everything:

 Caring about what people think.
 Caring eternally about if others are happy.
 Caring about being nothing but kind to you.
 Caring about avoiding conflict.
 Caring about if you understand me.
 Caring about if you like me :)
 Caring about if anyone is going to be offended.
 Caring about if everyone is comfortable.
 Caring about if I can do something right the first time.
 Caring about dishes being done before I go to bed.
 Caring about if all the leaves are raked up :)
 Caring about getting the paint color just right on the wall :)
 Caring about playing the organ perfectly in church.
 Caring about getting rid of the frizzies in my hair :)

Sigh, yeah it has been a whole lot of caring. I honestly never minded it. I was pretty sure it was who I was. It did not feel exhausting at the time. I know reading that list may make you feel tired but honestly I had no idea. I thought it was normal. I did not really see that maybe sometimes it was necessary to.....gasp.... not care??

I have read recently that humans are emotional and moral beings and we are not capable of observing other peoples behaviors without reacting emotionally and morally to it. We have to care and if we stop caring we actually stop being human. Drat, I was hoping it would be possible to be like Pierre....well not the lion part. So now that I have to accept that I care and always will I have to learn how to live with the caring and most importantly learn how to do it in moderation. As with everything in life I am slowly learning that there is always a happy medium. It seems we are always walking a fine balance in everything we do. There should be a just right amount of caring and a just right amount of recognizing when to not care.

I am happy to say I have learned to say "I don't care" to the things I simply can not care about and it feels remarkable to say it and let go. I can not care what you think anymore. I need to be accountable only to my Heavenly Father for the choices I make and no one else. Yes, I want you to like me but I can not care anymore if you do. Yes, I care about the dishes on the counter but sometimes it is more important to go upstairs and sit on the bed with my little girls and read or watch a movie.

It is stunning how great it feels to understand this concept. I feel so:
 liberated
 and free
 and grownup
 and strong
 and beautiful
and skinny
and rich
and on top of the world
and in control

....okay, maybe not all of that but pretty darn close :)

Lest you think you should nominate me to be the poster child for figuring out how to care in just the right amount I must tell you it takes a lot of control and a lot of practice. I am SO not perfect at it. Sometimes I find my mind back in the, "caring about things I have no control over" area and I have to grab it and drag it back to the healthy side where I only care and obsess about things I can control.....which sadly are not you :)

I am not a freakishly uncaring person now I just know how to recognize when caring in an obsessive way is no longer healthy. There are so many things I simply can not control and thus can not care about. It appears that I seem to be "all in" in everything I do in my life. It would probably be fair to use the word epic to describe all I do. But not in the caring department anymore :)

“The right mixture of caring and not caring - I suppose that's what love is.” 


1 comment:

Chrispy Critter said...

I will let you fold my folding chair...