The best advice I receive are from people who understand the importance of life unfolding in a peaceful and joyful manner. There is no one path for us to follow but a few guiding principals like being present and practicing non-attachment go a long way.
In my sociology classes we discussed social norms and what happens when we deviate from them. Some of our social experiments made people smile and others just thought we were strange. Remember that scene in Patch Adams where Robin Williams hung upside down and made the elderly woman smile? She was frightened at first but then he counted and her reaction changed.
I’m realizing that’s what deviating from the norm is. Most people will be jolted at first but if you can count long enough, you either won’t be attached to their disapproval as much over time, or they might be pleasantly surprised at the example you have set for them.
It always surprises me when those closest to us create such havoc in our minds. Controlling people tend to assign doom when things don’t go their way. The logical step is to create a boundary, but what do you do when they don’t respect that boundary? Again, then a third time, until it feels like you are just blue in the face.
My lesson on this predicament is still being unfolded but for now I’m going to hope that my beliefs on how I should live my life are under review and that smile from society is just a few counts away.
Saying that I shouldn’t care what others think is true to a degree but the reality is we all need a network of people who support us. Until I find more like-minded people I’m just going to have to work with the village of people still raising me. Us adults need a village too!
I hope you find peace in your daily life and confidence in your choices. I hope you find support in the times you need it most. I hope you build a life that fits your needs and desires. I hope you find good people who respect boundaries because I cannot be the only one who is looking.