Is it really yours?
If there is one thing that gets to me the most, it’s this. People getting trapped into trying to create a life that someone else wants for them, a life that others tell them is the right way to live.
Go to a good school, get that degree so that you’re assured of an impressive and highly sought-after job, get married, buy that house, then have a son and a daughter. The perfect family.
Sign your kids up for soccer, baseball, hockey and ballet; buy the best car money can buy and the biggest house your bank will mortgage, and fill it with top of the line furnishings. The perfect life.
We must have the same dream as everyone else and strive to have what everyone else has.
Now reading this, you probably think I’m cynical – I know it definitely sounds that way! But I’m not. I’m truly not. I’m just tired of everyone buying into this vision, this dream that society says we should have – when they haven’t taken the time to know what their dream is.
If this is indeed your dream, then go after it. You have my heartfelt wishes that you reach it. You really do.
But what if it isn’t?
So many people are so busy acquiring what they think they’re suppose to have that they’ve lost sight of who they are, what they want, what makes them happy. What makes their heart and soul sing.
So many people who are successful (according to society) are also very miserable.
I’m reminded of a client I worked with a number of years ago who had it all – a loving and supportive relationship with her husband, beautiful children she enjoyed spending time with, a gorgeous big house they just moved into, and a really good career. It sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
Yet she wasn’t happy. She came to me looking for help, and looking for answers. She couldn’t understand why she felt so empty and unfulfilled when her life was great. It definitely looked great!
And that was the problem. It looked great. But she was living someone else’s dream, living life according to what our society said was the right way to live, the dream to pursue.
After four months of working together, she was well on her way to creating a life that reflected what she wanted. She learned to listen deeply to what her soul was telling her. She gave herself time and space to know herself.
With her husband and kids fully on board, they downsized their home to fit their lifestyle and their needs. Their needs, not society’s needs. She went back to school to study a new field, very different than the one she was in but exactly in line with who she was. And she started spending time on things she enjoyed, things that nourished her soul.
What a difference! She sparkled and her eyes were alive with joy, and with anticipation of where her life was going!
So, I am definitely not cynical, nor do I renounce the dream society tells us we should have – not if that is truly your dream.
But what I ask of you, beg of you, is to learn to listen to your soul, your body, your heart, and your mind – what do you want?
And then go get it.
photo courtesy of Unsplash/Peter Fogden