being in tune with ‘what is’ is very different from being in tune with ‘what i want it to be’.
this i’m learning everyday. and when i see that i’m not in control of other people’s behaviors, and that it’s not up to me to change them, i can give them the space to be who they are, and not strangle them with who i want them to be.
i used to travel a narrow road, a beaten path, filled with expectations. i was afraid to wander off the path. when i would come to a fork, i would choose the path that would please my parents, and then the path that would please my teachers, my friends, my husband.
somewhere along the way i had to learn that pleasing others isn’t a path that leads to my independent happiness; following the path to please others kept me tied to others in such a way that i started to believe that i couldn’t be happy unless i was pleasing them, and they me.
‘do what i want, become what i want you to be, and you’ll make me happy.’ i had to quiet that internal voice of my mother, ‘become a doctor, and you’ll make me happy’ is very different from ‘follow your passions and you’ll discover your own happiness.’
i’m not responsible for anyone else’s happiness. and no one is responsible for mine.
when i decided that it was okay to wander off that well worn, predictable path, i started to see things differently. i started to experience the creation of the moment. because it’s exactly that creation, the mystery of the unknown, that allows for growth of the independent being, and the rediscovery of the heart. i started to live freely, embracing what is, and finding joy in the tiniest things and the tiniest moments.
when i stopped judging people and stopped trying to control them to stay on my path, i found a wide open field that i wanted to explore. a field with so many options! that’s when i found my open heart.
this internal happiness is not dependent on any other, it’s just me and how i choose to relate to others. in practicing living through the heart, there is no judgement, there is no trying to control others and there is no feeling that i’m being controlled by others.
i’m taking my dad to the cardiologist’s today, not because i’m trying to please him; i’m taking him because i want to. can i create time in my day to be there? today i can. are there days when i can’t? yes. on those days, am i going to feel guilty? no.
when i do things for others because i want to not because i’m pleasing them, i find peace. when i do things for others because i’m obligated or want to please them, i feel discontent and frustration.
today i choose to spend time with my dad taking him to his heart specialist. it’s simple. i’m not doing it to please him, i’m doing it because i enjoy helping out my dad and spending precious time with him.
“the greatest gift a parent can give a child, is the ability to become independently happy. And the greatest gift a child can give a parent is exercising that ability.” – mike dooley