Our society is built on those who command and those who obey. Sometimes we play both roles in different factions of our lives.
Boss at work, servant at home.
Leader in our sports team, follower in our family.
Voice of the people in person, liker of posts in the world of online posers and self-proclaimed influencers.
When we believe someone or something has authority over us, we find ourselves saying we ‘have to, we must, we should, we ought to’. We are giving this something or someone else the power over our time, energy, resources and direction.
“I really should change how I dress”
“I have to watch my favourite show”
“I must answer that text”
These, and many like them, have a second part to the thought:
“I really should change how I dress because my partner prefers it the other way.” = need for approval.
“I have to watch my favourite show because I’ll miss out on what’s happening if I don’t!” = fear of missing out.
“I must answer that text because I’ll never hear the end of it if I don’t.” = being controlled by someone else’s expectations.
We are silently setting their needs, expectations and desires before our own.
When we say ‘I will, I can, I choose, I’ll consider,’ – we are making our own choices, thought processes and ideas the priority.
There is a place for doing things others ask us to do.
There is also an appropriate amount of ‘doing’ for others and putting others first and a balance must be found if we are to be any good use to society.
But we must never lose sight of the power of thinking for ourselves, holding our own expectations high and making choices that resonate with the core of who we are.
Whether you base your life on faith or your own understanding, these things ring true:
We can and never will be enough for others because we each resonate in a unique way… and this is okay.
Each person is solely responsible for their own happiness and choices they make. We cannot use another person’s behaviour, attitudes or expectations as a way to excuse our own lack of self-governance.
And we can never help those who actually need us most until we are strong to the core, knowing who we are, why we are here and what we are here to do.
So despite how selfish it sounds, we must first look at the person we are and reconcile that before we can be of much use to the world.
This doesn’t mean that we must all traipse off to some remote island to find ourselves. But it does mean we must move forward with a sober mind, a heart open to change and a desire to become all that we can.
And when we walk this way, we begin to become the change we desire to see.
Thanks for reading.
~Miriam E. Miles