What is the matter? Do I matter? It’s a matter of opinion. Mind over matter. A matter of life or death. For that matter. It’s a matter of importance. The crux of the matter. No laughing matter. A matter of how you slice it…..and the list goes on and on.
How do we decide what matters? How do we decide who matters to us? Why do we hurt the ones that matter? (Okay, I cribbed that from those we love)
Matter as a noun is a physical substance in general, as a distinct from mind and spirit; (in physics) that which occupies space and possesses rest mass, especially as a distance from energy. It is an affair or situation under consideration; a topic. As a verb, it means to be of importance, have significance.
When I was 8 years old, it mattered what my favorite singer said and wore and expressed opinions about. Taylor Swift
Does it matter who we matter to? How does that effect our day to day life? How does it affect our being happy or sad? Why does it matter who likes our Instagram pictures? Why does it matter if we don’t get a text back? Who says that the things that matter the most are what we share on Facebook? Why does it matter if someone won’t add us on Snapchat? These all seem like petty things to matter to people, but they do. Maybe not to everyone, but to some it does matter.
As I said, the phrase “I matter to those whose lives I touch” has been a big in my head this week. Today it backfired on me a bit. Well, maybe more than a bit. In trying to keep the saying in my head, I snapped at someone who matters to me. I didn’t mean to, and I did apologize, but still, it was wrong of me.
When it comes to people who matter to me, I end up putting my foot in a giant pile of shit a lot of the time. I don’t mean to do it, it just happens and then all those automatic thoughts of being worthless and not mattering to others come flooding back. More often than I care to admit, I give my value in the lives of those that matter to me more than I should. And that makes me feel awful when I stop and realize that I’m not the center of anyone’s universe except my own and possibly my dog Coco’s (I’m the one who feeds her and takes her to the dog park). The truth is the people I care about are too busy with their own lives to worry 24/7 about me. That’s my job. I can’t help it if I worry about people. It’s in my nature. I don’t want to totally give that up. The happiness and safety of the people who matter to me are important to me and it’s what makes me…me. I do need to understand though that’s its okay to not be front and foremost on the minds of the people that matter to me.
Social media fucks with people’s minds when it comes to what matters. You can post a picture on Instagram of something you know someone that matters to you would like and when they don’t respond with a like/heart then you feel like … or rather I feel like a loser …or as I’m supposed to say that I feel like I don’t matter. When you post something interesting on FB and no one notices it, you feel like you don’t matter to anyone who follows you. When I post here what I think is an interesting blog post and no one “likes” or comments on it, you feel like why am I bothering posting things here that matter to me if no one reads them.
I tried giving up social media because of the feeling I get when things that matter got no response. But I looked back. So what if some people didn’t like it or read it or respond to it. Some people I didn’t expect did like and makes comments that led me to look at other sites and other things I didn’t know I’d find interesting.
I picked the image above because of what it says.
“You are enough” I struggle with that in all phases of my life. Am I enough as a parent? Am I enough as a wife? As a friend? As a teacher? My knee-jerk reaction is always no. I am lacking in some part of my life. I am learning to know that I am enough. I know that I make a difference to the people whose lives I touch. I make a difference to my students. I want THEM to never think they don’t matter to anyone. I impart that to my children. No matter if I am angry with you, I love you and you matter.
“You have influence” I like to think that in some way, a small way I am having influence in someone’s life. I see the influence I have on my children every day. They are the two most amazing things I will ever have accomplished in my life. I see the influence I have on my students when I tell them I am proud to be a Geek and there is nothing wrong with being excited about the things you love.
“You are a Genius” Author Seth Godin says a genius is a person who can solve a problem in a way that no one else has solved it before. So in terms of my body and what it can do, I finally figured it out. I have lost close to 75 pounds. I am stronger and healthier and have learned how to do it the right way and the smart way. (With a little help from people to keep me going.)
“You Have a Contribution to Make” “We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” ~ Mother Teresa. The size of the contribution isn’t what matters, it what part of my heart I put into it.
“You Have a Gift to Give that Others Need” “Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha). It is said that happiness and love are the two greatest gifts we can give the world. But more often than not, we are wrapped up in our own gratifications and forget that there are people in the world that we can make feel loved, appreciated, or even just noticed. These are not gifts that we need to buy. A smile. A hug.
“You are the change.” A shared smile, an unexpected kindness, the small encounters with people that show us that we matter. That our presence is important. Leaving people with something positive; it is these things, no matter how small, we choose to matter and in doing that, we are making the world a better place.
“Your Actions Define Your Impact” “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before beginning to improve the world.” ~Anne Frank. If action is the world’s greatest currency, then there is no better day or time than now and today to start to make a difference in your world. It’s not about waiting until you have the time. It’s not about waiting until you have money. To let someone know that you matter, just tell them. “Hey, you matter.” That will take all of two seconds. If you are reading this, you matter to me.
“You Matter!” To be of consequence or importance to others is what it means to matter. It means that I am worthy of note and have crucial value. It means you are significant and relevant. My world doesn’t always tell me this and my friends and family may not always communicate it in a way that I can understand and see that I am important in their lives, but that doesn’t mean that what I do and who I don’t have a profound impact on the world.