In my life right now I feel so unrestricted. I feel so free of mental limitations that the expectations of other people have placed on me in the past. I think that so many times people are confined in their lives by the idea that they have to live up to a certain ideal or standard to be accepted.
I’m not going to lie…I feel like growing up viewed as somewhat of an outcast has made not being accepted a little easier for me. I am not the person who was ever much worried about popularity, because I was in my own world. I would still say that overall I worried more about image when I was younger than I do now though. I did things with the wrong motives. I did things based off of what I thought I was supposed to do and not what I wanted to do.
Here are some realizations that I have come to that helped me feel more liberty and harmony
Realize That No One Cares
This doesn’t mean that people don’t love you and care about you. This means that people don’t love and care about you nearly as much as they do themselves. You can try to make your life appear a certain way or have a certain image, but it won’t impress as many people as you think. There used to be a time in life when people would naturally grow apart. Now you are looking at the family pictures of a guy you use to work with ten years ago. Do you honestly care? Probably not, but if it’s on your timeline you like it. Not because you care about it, but because you see it.
Having the idea that you have to maintain a perfect image will make you unhappy. The truth is people are happily awaiting your demise, and THAT is what they are watching so intently for. Don’t believe me? Post something negative and then post a positive, and see what excites people more. Live unapologetically. If you aren’t hurting yourself or others then you have to do what is best for your mental health. At the end of the day you caring about yourself is what matters most.
Enjoy The Moment
It sounds cliché, but let’s be honesty…in our thirties many of us are shaping our lives. I have a lot of responsibility in my life. I look after my mother; I work 2 jobs, etc. I sometimes feel like I’m moving from one task to the next without a break. I am so busy, that sometimes I don’t even like to be still. I am so use to being in a constant motion.
A friend told me that it is important to enjoy the moment and not just to be looking for the destination. I disagreed with them, but then I thought about it a little longer. Things are good, and its ok for me to pause and realize it. As a matter of fact, I would go as far as to say it’s important to pause and realize it. Not just to pause, but to pause and reflect.
To me reflection is to show reverence to The Most High. If we are not reflecting and giving appreciation to The Most High then we are putting these trivial things on a higher level of importance than They. (I use the term The Most High because people can often get hung up on language, and whatever your belief or language for a supreme being higher than all, I want you to get the point of giving reverence and not be focused on the language.)
Pick Your Battles
If you are a passionate person like me, this is a hard one. I get so passionate about certain topic, that it becomes so difficult for me not to go off immediately. I have realized that this way of reacting only stresses me out and put strain on relationships. The things that I focus on now are intention and level of understanding. Did this person intend to offend me? Is this person making this comment due to ignorance on their part or a lack of understanding this particular topic? I realized that a lot of times I was taking offense when there was no reason for offense to be taken.
If I want to be heard it is more important to speak more clearly than it is to speak more harshly. Screaming is not getting my point across. Being obnoxious is not getting my point across. Explaining and convincing with facts and logic is the way to get my point across. Not only should I pick my battles, but when I pick a battle I better be able to articulate what I’m trying to convey.
The idea that you don’t need to question things starts early. I think sometimes we tell children not to do this or that because it is bad, but we don’t explain why because we don’t want them to question. Some people even grow up thinking that it is wrong to question. This means that children grow up with an idea that they don’t have to think about things and they should just blindly follow.
In my opinion, the oppression of other beings is rooted by the idea of not having to question anything. We have this ego that our ideas are always correct. I think that questioning has made me a happier person because I know that my beliefs are my own, and that makes me feel more peace. I don’t believe something because I was told to; I believe it because it resonates with me.
When People Care They Are Kind
People will tell you they care about you, but do they show it? The saying that actions speak louder than words is very true. These days no slick comments aimed at me are tolerated. Recently I got into an argument with someone, and where someone else would probably try to hit me where it hurt or take the hardest jab…this friend did not. I thought about it later like that’s what a good friend is.
A good friend is that person who could have hurt you and decided not to, because even when they are angry with you they care about you. They respect your vulnerability and openness. Not only do I respect that kind of person, but I want to be that kind of person. I want to be that person that is loving and kind to everyone because love is in my heart.
Major life change will show you when someone is kind. Something like moving and not being so easily accessible to people who want to use you will make them flee. Let them flee. Watch the energy around you change
Create Space If You Need It
We have so many things that we are responsible for, sometimes we feel we owe our friends time, attention, explanations, conversations, but we don’t. We work, have families, have responsibilities and so on. This is not like when we were carefree teens. We do not always have the physical energy to give all of the time.
As an introvert, my space is very important. I try to show people I love them, but at the end of the day if I don’t make time for myself I won’t have any peace to spread to anyone else. I have to read my blogs, watch my podcasts, pray, burn my candles; having my own space is important in me being a kinder person to others.
Some things will not be your fault. Some things will be your fault. It is important to be an introspective person because being introspective helps you identify if you did something wrong and how to fix it in the future. If every time something happens you point the finger at someone else, you will never become a better person. Dealing with our own flaws can be difficult, but it is necessary in order to be better people.
The moral of the story is that having peace of mind is a journey. We learn new ways to have peace of mind all the time. Being at peace not about what we have but about what we do. Things don’t give us peace, we allow ourselves to enjoy the peace that is already there. Focus on what you want and it will come. Focus even harder on what you want and you will see that it is already there