Life is so hard now, there are so many expectations on us. The only way to be truly happy is to learn to be happy. Life is complicated. Life is frustrating. Life is lonely. And yet we look at our friends on Facebook and see their perfect lives, and their perfect circle of friends.
Life is more complicated today than it ever has been before. We are expected to be super human. We are expected to be perfect at our job, at our business, at our parenting, at being a partner. We get pressure to have children. I have friends that have made a conscious decision not to have kids that are under huge amounts of social pressure and judgement. I have friends that are not able to have kids that are in the same situation. I have friends that spend every waking hour trying to perfect parenting. I have friends who are talented photographers that feel that if they don’t have a successful photography business then they are a failure in life. I have friends that have lost their partners that are judged for moving on in life after they have gone. I have friends who’s marriages have broken down. I have friends who have suffered in silence for years with anxiety and panic attacks. And I have friends who have lost loved ones. And the list could go on and on. The pressure to have a perfect life. to always be upbeat about everything is a pressure that can make people explode or implode depending on their personality.
Now I have tried to be the positive thinker. And I have a great example in my life of a person who always tries to look for the bright side. Mum should be the poster child for old age because she always tries to see the best in any situation. And I think this is a good healthy way to be. BUT…
Sometimes we need to take time to reflect, to morn, to think and to have some down time as well. Life is full of ups and downs. As humans we need variety in our lives. I am sure you know someone who you would consider has an amazing life. All the money they need, wonderful family, travels the world, yet they are miserable. There are kids stories written about this. Scrooge comes to mind. The happy rich are those that are working toward goals. Ones that have visions of making the world a better place. The philanthropist. They wake up each day with purpose. We all dream of a lifestyle where we can do what we want when we want, the grass is always greener on the other side. Or is it?
We need ups and downs to feel a variety of emotions in life. emotions is what makes us live. It is what makes us feel. Its why we seek out pleasure. But if life is just pleasure then is it truly balanced, and are we learning and growing? Do we need to acknowledge that the things life throws our way as challenges are really needed.
Perhaps we need to rewrite the grass is always greener saying to “the grass is always greener where you water it”. I love this saying and have used this to focus my attention to simplifying my life and consciously deciding what parts of my life to water. What is it that I want to nurture and grow? It doesn’t stop life throwing me curve balls but it does make me more focused and happier knowing that I am working toward something that is important to me. no one else needs to know what that might be or my reasons for doing things. I don’t have to compete with anyone else. The only competition I have is me. can I do better for myself today than I did yesterday. Am I looking after what is important to me.
Sounds a little self-centred doesn’t it. But in order to give myself to others I need to make sure I have myself sorted out first. One of my other favourite analogies is put on your own oxygen mask on first before helping others. If you are struggling, then deal with your own issues. Don’t take on the issues of others, be there for others but don’t take on their pain, it doesn’t decrease what they are feeling, it just makes you feel bad. And that there people is another entire topic.