I am so sick of all the ‘rules’ that we think we must live by. Eat this. Don’t eat that. Do this to be happy. You must be thin. You must be popular. You must be smart, sexy, important, wealthy, NORMAL, happy, strong, successful, understanding, nice to others, at peace, on time, clean, polite, and make everyone else around you happy, too. Don’t forget to get enough sleep, exercise, always do your best, use your blinker, be patient, LOVE everyone and always always always honor your commitments! WAIT!! You still need a good tan, to fix what is “wrong” in your family, help others, save money, be responsible, and do the RIGHT THING!!!
Truly, the list of THINGS WE MUST DO goes ON AND ON AND ON…
WHY do we inflict so many rules on ourselves and others? It’s MADDENING to me! I’m gonna just come right out and say it:
RULES AREN’T REAL.
They are concepts that we make up in our minds, or rather our minds make them up and we decide that they are real. We are taught by others in our lives that they are real and we accept them as so, without any question. It’s really crazy making!
Who would we be without the idea that we have to live up to some standard or follow the rules of our parents, society, our social circles, our religion (yes, I said it), our teachers, our spouses, our friends, and even ourselves. My imagination is that just by asking the question, it may anger you, or at least feel a bit uncomfortable.
Not follow the rules? What in the world kind of insane, crack pot, nuts-o idea is that? Without rules, we would all just run around killing each other and stealing and creating chaos, full of anger, frustration, confusion and suffering, right?
Hmm…don’t we do that anyway? (Well, not ALL of us, but…)
Seriously though, I believe that we create rules in an attempt to gain control over things which are really out of our control. Governments make rules to keep the masses in order. All kinds of groups and organizations use fear, intimidation, fancy words, images and propaganda to tell us what the rules are (or should be) and how we should act, speak, dress, vote, learn, think and believe.
I’m gonna go WAY outside the box here and say that we need to stop following so many rules. For instance, there are rules about when it is acceptable to speak our minds and when it isn’t. Like, whaaaaaaatt??? Who got to make up that one? How about rules for how we make decisions in our lives? What rules do you personally have about that and where did they come from?
I believe that it is time for us to make up our own rules for our own lives. Stop yourself when you have a thought like “That’s just the way it is” or “People should…” and ask yourself WHERE that idea came from? Where did it come from before that? See if you can follow it to its origin. I’d love to know where that journey takes you. Then ask this follow up question, “Do I even believe that it’s true?” And, “Does it feel good to me to believe this?”
I am realizing in my early forties that I have bought into too many rules in my life and I can see how they kept me from taking risks, from showing people who I really am and from chasing my dreams. Finally, I am shedding others’ crazy ideas about how I “should” live and be, and I am going out into the world to create my own.
Care to join me?
Here is a short list of some of my NEW RULES:
When my body says it’s tired, I let it rest.
If it feels right to me, then it’s right. If it feels wrong to me, then it’s wrong.
I always have a choice. Always.
However I show up today is perfect. However I show up tomorrow will be OK, too.
If I don’t show up at all, it is OK.
Other peoples’ opinions of me is none of my business.
Taking time to sit still with myself IS part of my work. Other “jobs” I have in this life are: being in nature, learning and growing as a human being, connecting with animals, honoring my body, sharing what I know and always being true to myself, even when it’s hard.
I have a voice and I will use it. Even if someone disagrees.