The world moves in mysterious ways…. I bought a zippo lighter with “Judge not lest we be judged” engraved on it for my friend who had just become a judge at the time. I gave it to him at a dinner party to celebrate this event and to my utter shock he had stopped smoking the 80 cigarettes a day he was famous for, the lighter was redundant. A metaphor for life really – always expect the unexpected….
I’ve been reflecting on my life experiences recently and really wanting to explore the notion that what we focus on tends to present itself in our lives. Good or not so good, what we put energy into will expand whether we like it or not. So be careful what you have embedded in your belief system. If you believe ‘I am a disappointment’ you might find that everyone around you is a disappointment to you and you them at some point.
You might have very strong moral values that you build rules around and live by…. Be careful… The rules you create are simply barriers to being. Clearly, I’m not suggesting you commit crimes or behave badly towards others, I am asking you to reflect on what is the purpose of your rules? How do you feel when you think about your rules for life? Do you feel lighter or heavier? Sad or happy? And how do you communicate your rules to your friends and family? Do your rules open your life and heart up or close it down? Are your friends able to talk to you about anything – even their shadow stuff, the darker side of who they are, the mean thoughts that they have but would never act on?
My rules have recently been turned upside down… In a big way! And I cannot believe how happy I am as a result. Instead of missing out on or ignoring an opportunity to build a wonderful relationship – I released the rules and am experiencing being, evolving and creating something that is quite beautiful. I have been liberated! This experience has made me question all of my ‘rules’, and in turn stretched me, extended my compassion, self-compassion and shifted intolerances which have previously (most likely) prevented me form being truly present to where I am and who I am with.
This reminds me of different ways of instilling social control, now there is social control and ‘social control’ – one of which facilitates harmonious living and builds communities full of love and trust. The other which does the opposite. If my rules make another person wrong then I must also be wrong. What if no one is wrong. Sometimes because of the culture we live in we find ourselves fulfilling roles based on social expectation rather than love, compatibility and positive emotions?
The order that is dictated by the culture we live in and instilled throughout life becomes what we aim for. We stop being and we just do… Human doings… sounds dirty doesn’t it? Creating materially and ceasing to cultivate our compassion, love and connection. Competing to see who gets the first car, house, highest paid job, holiday home or X-box.
Our joy is stifled by rules and perceived expectations from our friends, family and communities. We perform, without question, tasks that lead to outcomes based on material gain. We educate our children to do the same, they will go to university, they will get a job, they will make money, they will… they will regardless of how the education system doesn’t really suit many children, that the education system contributes to the wilful neglect of nurturing kindness, compassion and care. They will perform at different ‘key-stages’, they will be on the sports teams and they will do what is expected. In effect we destroy their confidence, ignore their strengths if they don’t meet the norm or at least average.
Who wants to be normal or average? Don’t be… Lose your rules and start living.