Everyone gets caught up in what we HAVE to do. What do we have to to do besides live our life? Do we have to dress a certain way, have a certain career or believe in a certain religion? Many of us believe that we do have to do these things and yet, I respectfully disagree.
Everyone is entitled to live their own lives in the way that they choose. They are free to believe what they want, work at whatever career/job they enjoy and dress however they want that feels good to them. However, everyone doesn’t necessarily believe that this is true.
Many people get the idea that they are responsible for pleasing others. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people say “I have to do ______ or ________ will get mad at me!” Or people just accept that they have to live their lives in order to please people they care about or want to care about them. Sadly, many people then go to a friend or a counselor or a lawyer to explain that they are not happy and looking for ways to feel happy again. (We cannot MAKE anyone else happy and they cannot MAKE us happy. No matter what anyone does, each person gets to choose how they are going to feel about it. Period.)
Here’s my suggestion to anyone who lives on “gotta gotta island”, move to a new location! Whenever you hear yourself say “I have to _____”, then pause and take a moment to consider, “Do I Really have to? Am I doing this because I choose it or to please someone else?” If the answer is yes and I am doing it because I feel the need/choice to do it, then go right ahead. If the answer is no, or maybe and it is because of what someone else thinks or feels, you may want to look for alternatives.
We have to make a living, take care of our health and hopefully, create a good life (by our own definition). After that, there is very little we have to do unless we choose to do it. If I do things because I choose to do them, even though they may be the same things others want me to do, it changes my attitude toward what I am doing. It is MY choice, not something I have to do and this makes a world of difference. We understand that it really is our life and we really can choose what we do or don’t do without fear of what others think. Then, no matter what the It is, we are ok with It.
The swan in the picture goes through each day making sure it survives and going along with the flow of the water and life. It doesn’t check in with other swan to see if it is swimming the right way or if it looks ok. It just goes through the day enjoying life. We can learn from how other animals live if we pay attention.
Have a great day!