This post isn’t even about freeing yourself from what other people think. It’s about freeing yourself from what you think.
Because other people, believe it or not, can be dicks.
Like I remember the time I got a new job, and the person who was supposed to be my friend, decided to focus on the long commute instead of the fact that hello! I got a new job.
Or the time I sent someone in my family a picture of myself in a new outfit, and instead of saying something nice, they said something sarcastic – it was like they didn’t even want to share in my excitement.
Sharing something that I’m excited about can feel pretty vulnerable, especially if I’m taking the opinions and words of others so personally.
Don Miguel Ruiz said that one of the main rules of life is to take nothing personally – whether it’s good or bad. That means that it shouldn’t matter either way if other people approve or disapprove.
If you’re also working on something new, or trying out a new way of living, be careful of who you allow to influence you. Because some people just won’t get it. And that’s okay!
Look, the world is fun because there are so many different types of people, and the more authentic people can be, the easier it is for everybody to find their tribe. There’s no point in pretending to enjoy something just to make someone else happy, but there’s also no point in acting like it’s someone else’s job to enjoy your personal hobbies, goals, or activities, just because you like them.
I know what you’re going to say: A good friend/partner/cousin does things they don’t particularly enjoy, like going to the zoo for example, because their loved one enjoys it, and they do it to make them happy.
I’m not a heartless fiend.
But ask yourself – How often are you around people that genuinely enjoy or are excited about that specific cause or hobby you’re interested in?
Which brings me to my main point: people love to celebrate together. Folks join in when they see someone on the dance floor, tearing it up, and just having a good time. Human beings really do (in my opinion) tend to be good-hearted creatures that just want to be happy.
But we can’t keep excepting everyone to be happy for us, or go around living for the happiness of other people.
At some point, the happiness and the celebration must comes from within, and it must be sufficient. I’m not saying everyone should sit alone in a dark room until they figure out how to be happy with themselves – no, it’s about being willing to take this journey called Life with one’s self, rather than one encounter that suddenly changes everything (unfortunately…)
Don’t settle for being tolerated – be celebrated! But celebrate yourself first.
The truth is, it’s just hard to be happy for myself sometimes. Sometimes it is easier to have fun when there’s another person present, and maybe that’s loneliness speaking, but I worry that we as a society are don’t know what it means or how to simply relax and enjoy ourselves, without having outside approval that we are correctly relaxing, or enjoying ourselves sufficiently.
Thanks for reading!