This is incredibly uncomfortable.
So, about a month ago, a close friend of mine shared an article on Facebook and I, in one way or another, ripped it apart. I agreed with the premise but admit my disdain for the tone of voice of the article and my opinion that it was short-sighted caused me to cringe thinking my friend really aligned so closely with the voice. Truly I should have allowed it to not be so pointed.. my friend did not write the article, he agreed with it. Which – aside from my disdain for the tone of voice and the variety I would have brought to the article: “10 Things That The People Who Love Their Lives Are Doing Differently” – I did too.
Side note: I claim that the reason I am not as avid of an online reader is because I get easily agitated both by strong conviction and by people saying what I thought first. So my reaction was a lil of that too..
To write this blog post makes my heart sink knowing that I am about to do three things that make me incredibly uncomfortable: 1) take my head out of my ass and take the time to write what I really do think (it’s sooo much easier just to vaguely disagree) 2) read an opinion blog (for the second time) and 3) in doing all this, somewhat publically apologize.
I want to run away from my laptop right now, by the way.
Here’s the Elite Daily article
Here’s what I commented on my friend’s share:
…”So though each of those points touches on a belief I in some way carry, this article is mans a selfish point of view as it does not mention happy people giving others the opportunity to love and be valued, and happy people ultimately rooting themselves in one thing or another in order to build community. it claims happiness exists as a moment conducted by the genius vision of one rather than happiness as one’s view on the grander vision they are a part of.. my happiness is all of these ten points with social and relational meaning.”
Here I go:
The article’s statement #1: They don’t bother trying to make others like them — mainly because they don’t care if they’re liked.
Alright – Marcus Aurelius 101 here: Compliments or criticism don’t matter. If you tell a gem it is beautiful, does it get more beautiful? If you tell a gem it is ugly, does it get ugly? No. Flattery is fleeting. Being whole is where it’s at. You will have the right friends at the right moments. It’s not “I don’t care if you like me”, it’s that you actually become oblivious to the idea of “being liked”. Really! I don’t ever think “this person does or doesn’t like me” – I used to, it was horrible. I think happiness here is being comfortable with exactly who you are and allowing people to fall in place exactly as they do and knowing that love comes from somewhere far greater than man.
The article’s statement #2: They do things because they want to do them, not because they believe they have to do them.
I believe, when coming from a motive of love, everything you have to do becomes something you want to do: to maintain peace, to help others, to enjoy solitude, to build experience, to be a good citizen. The list goes on. To take the views of this world and turn them inside out is true spiritual living. Take the demands into your own hands and be an individual who knows the rules (and when to break them). A great example of this applying in my life is when I feel pressure to “be somewhere” – I really break that down to understand why and trust that I am in the right place and in the right pace. I offer relief to people who are late as I know that as I live out my present moment, I surely may end up needing that same type of relief. It’s all a cycle. It’s not just “what I want”. It’s not just about you all time. (I know, as an evolving narcissist, it’s hard.)
The article’s statement #3: They love their friends but don’t rely on them.
<deep breath> this one was especially hard to swallow considering I read this post during a time of grieving when I “needed” my friend the most.
To quote my sister, the most valuable thing you can give a person is the opportunity to love you and show long-suffering when you need it most, love when you need it most, joy when you need it most, and compassion – always. Let your friends be needed but be happy knowing their life island can float away from yours and trust that connection can always happen; it is not something you control. I agree not to base happiness on them, not to source love from them. But recognize the universe loves you through others: It’s a matter of impermanent attachment.
Bond and let be, baby. Bond and let be.
The article’s statement #4, #5:
When you ask them what they do, they don’t give you a job title
When you ask them where they live, they say, “At the moment…”
I actually agree with both of these 110% – when I am asked what I do, the first thing I saw is “a whole lot of things”. I heard a contractor once answer that question like this: “I’m a truth seeker”. I totally dug it.
And though I’m a futuristic creative little momma, I do believe the present moment is the place to be.
The article’s statement #6: They have their own philosophies, their own religion they created and live by.
I believe you cannot be wrong when you are not trying to be right. Test out your belief system, know you get to change it. The assertive person’s right is to change your mind, be irrational, and stand up for yourself. Come from a motive that is safe for others and go for it.
The article’s statement #7: They embrace their impermanence.
I also agree with this one 110%. I once sat through a meditation where I was in such a specific emotion and I felt it was so complete, so me, so everything. And the teacher said “now take that feeling you have right now and realize – you will not always be this way – you will not always feel this way – as you have been sad and then felt happy, so you will change again”. This is a powerful understanding and I do believe it greatly brings a valuable point of happiness.
The article’s statement #8: They see the world as their playhouse and their mind as the conductor.
This was another prickly point where the author’s point of view got me in the gut.
I believe you create your reality and I believe we have a responsibility to do this by bringing peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, joy, self-control, love, to the present moment. I believe that when you create your own reality otherwise, it ends up being quite materialistic and can cause neurosis; you rely too heavily on your self.
I believe this is a dangerous place to be. I do.
The author doesn’t note the community aspect and I have to ask:
What mode does this force one into when they feel threatened? I believe creating and manifesting reality works true to the cosmos when one intentionally builds community; realizing that a sustainable reality that pushes us as a human race forward is one that attributes the gifts of others, connects them, and allow all to become a resource.
That being said, to those who are happy without nurturing the community aspect of reality building: I believe you experience happiness. My Christianity sees challenges with this model.
The article’s statement #9: They live in the moment, but dream in the future.
I strongly believe in working your current landscape and I believe dreams are the best place for the future.
I believe that you will always have the resources you need in the present moment and that too often we waste time looking for tools in our present moment we think will get us the future we want. When really, meeting yourself in your reality is what cultivates the soil.. what makes manifest.. what helps you expand into dream world without even trying. My pastor once said “if you think you know what lies ahead then you aren’t doing faith right because God works beyond anything we could ever imagine.” I think that’s powerful.
The article’s statement #10: They don’t bother changing others, but instead learn how to deal with them appropriately.
I cannot stress how much “deal with them appropriately” pains me – again, it’s this author’s voice but ok, I can do this.
So my therapist told me ten years ago “if you change, the relationship will change”. And I think this is sound. To say happy people “don’t bother changing others” suggests that they could if they wanted. Change occurs through change in the relationship. Change in the relationship can begin with you and you alone. I think it is very easy for us to believe it is about “the person” but it’s not “the person” we “deal with”, it’s the exchanges / the relationship.
And whether you need to understand and possibly alter your beliefs that are causing you to feel the way you are feeling or whether it is a matter of modifying your engagement, either way: any person who stops banking on change in others in order to feel satisfied will immediately feel free.
And freedom is happiness.
Because I believe what I believe, I respect and honor the post. I had to do this to in some ways prove to myself that I wasn’t pacifying my response saying that I incorporate these 10 points. I do. And in understanding how, I am now better able to see how the compatible thought runs. The world needs all sorts of people.
I love you friend, I am sorry I “facebook yelled”.