This has been one of the most powerful questions anyone has ever asked me.
Most often, it is my brother asking. He’s a man of few words and rare explanations.
Me: “Mom is so infuriating!”
My brother: “Why?”
Me: ” Because she keeps telling me that I’m wrong for being gay; that it’s against God. She can’t even give me a good reason. She says I should basically suck it up and marry a man that I don’t love because that’s what’s right!”
My brother: “So?”
Now, of course it’s hurtful if my mother feels that way and doesn’t accept me, but my brother’s point was that it doesn’t actually affect me unless I choose to allow it to. I am living my life and she is living hers, regardless of what either of us think of the other’s lifestyle. There is no point in dwelling on something that I can’t change.
Please keep in mind that is just an example. My mother did in fact feel that way, but no longer does. Other people feel that way, which is easier to let go of because they’re not family.
Here are some more examples of where “So?” can be applied:
“That 300 pound woman on the beach is wearing a bikini!”
“That man is kissing another man!”
“That girl is dressed like guy!”
“My ex has found someone else and moved on.”
“Someone stole my parking spot!”
“She’s skinnier than me.”
“They have a nicer car than me.”
“I spilled my coffee this morning.”
The list can go on and on. Some things will be more significant than others, but in the end they can all be things we overreact to.
All this is is learning to let things go that don’t affect us. We all hear about it in our lives, but for me it was my brother always asking “So?” that had the greatest impact.
Now, when I see something that shocks me or when I’m stressing or getting angry about something, I ask myself “So?”
Granted, the real questions are “Does this matter right now? Does it affect me? Is it going to matter or affect me in a couple days, weeks, months, or years? Is it really important? How significant is it? How much energy does it deserve?”
Here are couple examples from today…
When I moved into this duplex, the old tenants had left behind a lot of their old junk in the shed out back. When my new neighbors moved into the other half of the duplex, he took all of that stuff out of the shed and left it in the yard because he needed to store his tools in the shed. He has been saying for months that he will haul the junk to the curb for trash pick up. Some of it was furniture that one person can’t carry alone, so that’s been his reason for not doing it. I’ve been telling him just to let me know when he’s available and I will help him. Reality is, it’s not even our responsibility to get rid of this junk, but it is what it is.
I worked half of the day today, then came home and did my chores. When I finally got a chance to sit down with my freshly brewed cup of coffee to relax and blog, my neighbor decided he was available to move all that junk. I’d just showered and wanted to relax, not get dirty hauling rotten furniture and trash out to the curb.
But does it really matter? No. I got up and we hauled the junk out. Now it’s done!
Then, I was nearly finished with my post and one of the neighbor’s friend’s kids run up and slammed into my table, knocking my coffee over and spilling it everywhere.
I was upset for a very brief second. Poor little girl. The look on her face said it all. I told her it was okay and smiled, and she ran off to play. Again, it didn’t really matter. It took me less than two minutes to clean it up, and I don’t really need coffee this late in the evening anyway.
I have complained about things that don’t really matter in the past, and I’m sure I will again. I am human and I get frustrated. But I would like to try to remember this. I’m posting this more for myself than anything. My brother’s simple question of “So?” really made think every time he said it, so I’m trying to remind myself to ask it when I feel stressed.