It’s easy to provide perspective on someone else’s life. You see the forest, they live among the trees.
I have these wonderful friends (new and old) who allow me my opinions and my ideas, and who receive my encouragement with a blend of patience, sideways curiosity and the odd bit of enthusiasm. They have been known to call me wise which makes me laugh, mostly because I wonder if they’re messing with me. I’m not old enough for that label, am I? To me, it feels more like I’m using them as my philosophical guinea pigs so it makes me happy to have pals who are so open with their own lives that they allow me to contribute and to learn so much from them. That’s not wisdom, that’s unconditional love. I love my friends and they love me, opinions and all. I have unconditional love for them. And I hope that, through my journey, they too discover how striving to be unconditional in all ways is the portal to the self-awareness that creates abounding clarity.
Now back to those proverbial trees. What happens when you stop relying on other people’s reactions or actions for your sense of well-being – when you realize it doesn’t matter what someone else thinks of you? You get your mojo back. How cool is it to know that no matter how someone reacts to a situation, you don’t have to follow suit. They don’t have to be a certain way for you and you don’t have to be a certain way for them. Unconditional!
“So Lori, could all those Facebook posts be wrong?” Yes indeed.
No amount of likes is a measure of anyone’s self-worth. Self-worth comes from within. A pretty font or dreamy picture should not persuade you that you have to do or be different than you are in order for someone else to feel better – and vice versa. By letting go of conditions that you cannot possibly control brings great freedom to be who you are.
Here is what I have learned. Confusion and uncertainty abound when you feel you have to be or react in a certain manner in order to appease someone else’s idea of what is apropos. When you stop reacting to outside opinions – those ideas of how or who you should or should not be or how you should or should not act – you discover self-empowerment. You get to decide what you truly like and dislike, what you do and don’t want, what you do or don’t need in order for you to feel good / better / great.
As you let go of those outside conditions, you gain insight into who you really are in this world and what makes you more you than anything, or anyone else. This is clarity. You are no longer hostage to or a victim of circumstance and you no longer feel the helplessness of depression. You can learn to do and be the things that make you a loving and fully self-empowered individual. And oh the places you will go when you are in your empowered mode.
To my friends, I unconditionally love you so.
Exclamation points courtesy of the lovely Kristin Fraser.