I have felt this absolute heaviness in my chest the past few weeks. It is my body’s way of telling me I need to relax, to let go of something that is causing me to feel unsettled. Seriously, my mind feels like a billion different tabs opened all at once.
I feel like my head is going to explode with my never-ending to-do list.
Often when I get like this, I seek out counsel from my friends. But as I have grown older, those that I ask for opinions have drastically changed.
There was one time in my life that all I wanted to do was find people who would tell me what I wanted to hear. I sought out superficial opinions that brought me comfort or approval for what I was seeking. But all too often, I found myself wishing I had sought better counsel. I got what I wanted to hear, but not what I needed.
I have learned in my mid 30’s that opinions come a dime a dozen and one shoe does not fit all. The advice I need is not always easy to hear but always necessary and the person that I allow to speak life into my situation should be someone “qualified” to do so.
Yet, here we are, in an age where everyone has an expert opinion. You cannot get on social media without someone telling you they can change your life, your situation or your finances with one click of a button.
They promise that you will be a changed person in four weeks (or less).
-A better mom
-A better writer
-A better person
-A better Christian
And we trust them because they say to without ever really asking them why we should.
People are very trusting and I am fearful that it is bringing them down a road where they have all these opinions thrown at them yet no real solutions offered. It is just something else on your to-do list.
Am I saying I would never take a course or follow the advice of some? No. There are people who I hold to very high esteem but they have a track record to back up that respect.
….But we are not supposed to question anyone are we? It’s rude, right?
If someone feels they are an expert, even if they only a few months under their belt, who are we to question them?
Just as in blogging, we need to be careful about who we allow to speak over our lives, our families, our passions. I think we need to look at a few things that would make them qualified to weigh in on the areas we hold so dear.
Here are a few key factors to consider before taking to heart the opinions/advice of well-meaning people:
1. Do they have your best interest in mind?
I am not talking lip service. There are many that tell you they care and yet do nothing to back it up. I see it in blogging and life. Where are these people in your daily life? Is the only time they “drop by” when they need something from you? Do you always feel like you are getting a sales pitch? If so, why would you value anything they say?
2. Do they live by the opinions they give?
Do you see them practicing what they preach ? I have always found it ironic when a doctor will tell his/her patient they need to lose weight and be healthy, yet they smoke a pack a day and are overweight themselves.
Opinions can mean nothing….A life lived out by example speaks so much louder.
3. What qualifies them to have said opinion?
You might be thinking, “I have to ask my friend what qualifies them to be friends with me?” No, but a friend is going to have your best interest in mind, even when the truth they give to you is hard to give. Second, your friend, though not perfect, will be trying to live out the advice they give to you. A friend that encourages you to be respectful to your husband yet is completely disrespectful to theirs is not an opinion you should hold in high regards.
And this goes with our passions as well. The qualifications might be different in the blogging world but they should be looked into before you buy their line. I do not want to be rude so I will be very vague….. six months in the blogging world does not constitute experience and a title behind a name does not make an expert.
Be careful who you allow to speak direction and life into your passion and your families.