How much of what you do is based on ‘ought’ or ‘should’? How much of your time is spent wondering how what you do will affect others? How often do you not do something that you would love to do in favour of doing something to please someone else? Is your first thought before wearing something, saying something, writing something ‘will they like it?’ If so, I have a question for you…..
Yes we all have to live as part of a society and without maintaining certain niceties we would find ourselves ostracized but why do we sacrifice ourselves on the alter of public acceptance? We all feel obligated to do certain things without having any desire to do them and sometimes that stems from kindness and generosity but what if it comes from a fear of rejection or criticism? What will ultimately be achieved if we seek to please others at the expense of pleasing ourselves?
To turn that around, what do we get from conforming with our perceptions of what others want? A compliment? Gratitude? Friendship? Love? The first two, almost certainly but do we really want our friends or lovers to fall for the mask that we wear or our true selves? If our relationships are based purely on taking pleasure from seeing the joy on another’s face, aren’t we just living vicariously? Wouldn’t the relationship be better served from both parties feeling joy?
It may be that, if you live your life for you and reveal only your true self to others that you will lose friends or lovers along the way but if they loved you purely because you held up a mirror to their desires, have you really lost? We all make compromises along the way but if the thought of ‘ought’ or ‘should’ gives you no pleasure, find something positive that you can take from the experience or don’t do it.
People tell us how to live and even how to die but, the funny thing is, they can’t do either of those things for us………..
A life without rules can be chaos but living by someone else’s rules is to live life as though it were a preview to something else, the trailer before the main event. When the final curtain descends, the crowd won’t be there to applaud your performance, you’ll be alone on stage; don’t then look around and wonder why all the scenery is for someone else’s play…..
What do you think? Is a selfless life the most rewarding of all or should we live for ourselves, without bringing any harm to others of course, because we will only ever have one crack at this? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.