Nathan Hale Williams is remembering how important it is to stay out of some people's business.
One of my favorite colloquialisms from my childhood in Chicago was the phrase, “Nunya!” In one word, we were able to say an entire sentence, “It’s none of your business.” My auntie Gayle used to say that a lot to the other adults in the family and it always cracked me up. Today, I wish more people would say that… to themselves.
Last week, my dear sister-friend came to me perplexed about a situation between her mother and her brother. Her brother had crashed her mother’s car while home for the summer from grad school. Although he was in school still, her brother is in his early 30s – a grown man.
Her mother had been blowing up her phone complaining about him and threatening to put him out of the house. As you can imagine, my sister-friend’s brother was, historically, not the most responsible person. As long as I can remember, he was always the wayward child getting into trouble with the law, having a baby out of wedlock when he was 19, and just a laundry list of malfeasance over the years.
My sister-friend was the older and more responsible sibling and because of it her mother always looked to her for support. My sister-friend now has a family of her own and her own household issues she has to address on a daily basis. Still, she consistently gets caught up in the mess and drama of her family that is over 3,000 miles away. I could never understand why she allowed their stress to become her own.
When she brought me this most recent situation I saw an opportunity to share with her something that had opened up in my spirit. I let her go through the whole story, at the end of which she was clearly exasperated. She was stressed trying to figure out how to solve the riff between her mother and her brother, as she had always done.
I said, “It’s none of your business!” Quickly, she replied, “Yes, it is. It’s my family.” I challenged her, “But, why does that make it your business? Your mother and brother are grown. They can figure it out on their own, so don’t let them put you in the middle.” She looked at me as if I had just told her the secret to life. Something immediately clicked in her spirit.
“Continue, I’m listening,” she said. I explained that I had just experienced a similar revelation relating to some family drama. I pined over what I should do in the situation and how I should handle it. Ultimately, after praying and meditating on it, my spirit told me that I didn’t have to handle anything. I realized that inserting my opinion in the situation would do nothing to change it, so I decided to keep it to myself.
Moreover, what good would it do me to take on the drama between two adults? Absolutely none. Instead, when asked about it, I replied, “It’s none of my business.” In one fell swoop, I kept myself out of it and sent the message I didn’t need any more information about it. Yes, it may seem cold, especially when emotions are involved with loved ones you care about, but it is efficient and the best way to save yourself.
My sister-friend said, “Wow! I never thought about that, but it’s so simple. You’re right; it’s none of my business. They need to figure it out.” And, they did! By staying out of it, my sister-friend reduced her stress level and sent a positive message to her mother and brother to fix their issues themselves. It was the best thing for everyone involved.
It caused me to think that there are so many times when I have inserted myself by way of my opinion or action into a situation that was none of my business. Or, I have allowed myself to be dragged into a situation that was none of my business. It has caused me stress and, on occasion, relationships. Had I simply stayed out of it, the negative consequences of my involvement (stress, conflict, etc.) would have been completely avoided.
It is one of my newest revelations. Over the past week, I have repeatedly replied, “It’s none of my business.” Numerous situations have been dead on arrival. Something so simple has had a huge impact for my sister-friend and for me. So, if you find yourself being dragged or dragging yourself into a situation that really has nothing to do with you, say to yourself, “Nunya!” And, stay out the middle!