It’s so easy to pick apart someone else’s life and to see where they may have gone wrong, or to point a finger at something they are doing with which we don’t exactly agree. After being such an incredible f*ck up for so many years, and then bouncing back into myself and following the path of my dreams, I have become humbled in the way that I observe other people. I mean, who am I to judge? Seriously. But I’m certain because of all of my past shenanigans, that a few people still judge me by my past mistakes. It may take several more years for me to rise up from the ashes in other people’s eyes. Thank god I don’t worry about what those people are thinking as I move freely about my life these days. We all have skeletons. And the one thing I think about quite often is that no one truly knows what it was like to walk in my shoes. No one knows how deeply I hated myself and how lost I truly was. No one knows the struggles I faced and how hard I was on myself during that time. And certainly no one knows WHY I went through that difficult time. It was all part of my own path, you see. And it was part of my children’s path too. Take a little side-step with me for a moment…
If life is merely an experience, and we are all here on a journey of the soul, then why do we get so locked in on how things are supposed to be in the physical realm? I was talking to someone this weekend about how most people are very controlling (present party included). It is easy to see this about yourself when you are in a relationship, or parenting children. We all want things to be a certain way, but why is this? What is it about getting our way that makes things better? For me (I’ll speak for myself here), if I’m getting my way or getting what I want, or having things done the way I like them done, it makes everything feel safe for me. It gives me a feeling of relief. And the very bottom line is that I feel much happier when things are done my way. (Ah-ha!)
We all want to feel happy. Who doesn’t? (Duh). But when everyone is running around trying to control the surrounding world so that they feel happy (i.e. content, safe, secure, relief), then someone (a lot of people) are going to get their toes stepped on. This is how arguments are cultivated. This is how wars begin. Everyone wants things to be a certain way. It’s kind of a funny thing if you really think about it. And this extends outward too. When we observe other people doing things in a manner that wouldn’t make us happy, we label it as “weird” or “not right” or “strange.” Why do we put so much emphasis on what other people are doing? I had to really look at this in myself, and get to the bottom of that judgment of mine. I discovered that most of the time when I was judging someone else, it was because I was jealous of their life experience. It would make me feel so much better about myself if that other person would just remain within the margins of my life experiences. Perhaps for others, people are pushing the boundaries of your own personal limitations and it makes you feel uncomfortable. This may not be the case for you, but I would still question where the discomfort derives from. It’s good to know this about yourself, because it paves a path toward self-awareness, which builds a foundation of letting go and being present. In the present moment, I don’t have a problem with how other people live their lives. I don’t focus on what my ex-boyfriends are doing. I don’t get myself twisted in a knot over how amazing other people’s lives are compared to mine. In fact, when other people are doing what I wish I was doing, I thank the universe for putting them into my experience so that I can get a clear vision of what I want in life. It is good to have an image to focus on in order to create a path toward our desires. Knowing people who are “living it up” is like having a animated vision board. It’s pretty amazing.
If others are doing things in their lives different from how we do them, and they are not causing any harm to themselves or to others, then we should observe their joy, rather than point at their demonstration of that joy. Or, you can do whatever you want, but what I’m learning in life, is that we all express ourselves in different manners, and we all demonstrate our path toward happiness in very different ways. The demonstrations of the path toward happiness is like a shell. When you look inside of that shell, you will see that most people in life are simply trying to feel happy, and we all demonstrate this in so many different ways. Some of us (like me) who had a very difficult time sustaining that happiness – we end up imploding on ourselves and self-destructing. But in order to truly find my joy, I had to go through that stuff. It was all part of my experience. Some of us take the full swing on life’s pendulum in order to get a full perspective. And because my children were part of my life experience, they have been given a much broader perspective too. Perhaps they needed that kind of experience in order to move quickly through things that may have taken them years. I have no doubt that my two children are very focused human beings now because of the chaos they have endured. They are stronger, they are wiser and they have learned a lot about forgiveness at a very early age. They also know exactly what path they do not want to follow. It is important to know what we don’t want in order to go for what we do want. No one can look in from the outside of my life with my children and see the whole of the picture. There is a lot playing out that you cannot fathom from being a mere spectator.
I think it’s beautiful that there are so many ways to demonstrate our experience of joy and happiness. To look at it from another perspective, think of how there are so many different kinds of sports. In each sport, the main objective is to win. There are other reasons we play sports, of course, but we all do it so that we can experience a victory. If victory is the main objective, then what does it matter what sport we play? Wouldn’t it be an ignorant thing to say, “Oh, he plays football instead of golf. What a jerk!” But we don’t say that because we understand that people are all drawn to different sports. Same thing with religion. The objective of religion is to have a closer relationship with God. Bottom line. So why do we judge another person’s demonstration of their path toward God? It’s ludicrous. And if you are an artist who likes to paint, I doubt that you are making fun of the photographer, or scoffing at the writers in the world. There are many paths to our passions and joys. Who are we to say that someone else’s path is wrong?
Likewise, if people are doing things we don’t exactly understand, we can at least agree that whatever they are doing probably brings them joy, which is the main objective. And if what they are doing is wreaking havoc on their life at the moment, we should understand that this is probably their own personal path to discover sustainable joy in their life. They may be killing themselves to get there. They may struggle and harm other people in the meantime, but rather than judge them – pray for them. For whatever reason, those people that they are causing harm toward, have attracted that kind of “negative” experience into their life as well. Everything is connected. We attract experiences and people into our life in order to grow spiritually, and we may have agreed to encounter these experiences prior to even coming into this human form. When you observe someone who is serving him or herself with temporary pleasures, you must realize that they too, are ultimately desiring happiness, but perhaps they have yet to tap into that sustainable joy (which we all desire).
We are all having a human experience while we are here. We all need assistance along the way. We all want guidance because it’s difficult to see the forest past the trees. We all want the same exact thing – happiness. Give people a break. Live your life the way you enjoy and compassionately allow others their freedom of expression. Live and let live, man. It’s a much more joyful and liberating way to be.