“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society” -J. Krishnamurti
So many of us get up each day and with little variation, we do the same thing day in and day out. We get up, go to our jobs with a grimace on our face because we feel stuck in a job we are good at but makes us miserable. This starts at a young age, we are groomed to grow up, go to school to learn a profession and earn our status in life. There is a false perception that wealth equals prosperity and happiness. The American Dream, right? Get married, have kids, buy a nice house and nice car, in a neighborhood that has a good school district. The problem with this is once we have achieved all of this, so many of us are still unhappy with our lives. Have you every pondered this? Many have not, instead we cover up this unhappiness with the collection of material things, the development of addictions, or worse yet an endless supply of anti-depressants prescribed by a corrupt healthcare system that wants you to believe you are sick. The truth is, it is because your life is not really yours, is it? It is the life that society has taught you to live, the life that society says is good and prosperous – the road to happiness. You earn a paycheck so you can spend it on a car you really can not afford but need to get to your job, live in a house you can rarely enjoy, filled with material possessions that don’t mean anything to you. All of which result in a mountain of debt you will never pay off.
There false perceptions, illusions are brilliantly created through social media, advertising, news, etc. They leave you believing you are of unique thought, that somehow you are different than everyone else. When the reality is most of your ideas came from something or someone, and you don’t even realize it. Perhaps it was a book you read, a teacher you admired, your parents, a long standing family tradition, religion, or a mixture of all of that. Most of us are anything but unique. Like many you are stuck in the cycle that society has thrown you into. Sadly, this included me, against what I felt deep down, I gave in and went with the flow. I was working a job that I was very good at, but hated. In a marriage that was anything but satisfying, attending church and following a religion I didn’t believe in, but was something that was pleasing to my family. That does not mean I don’t love my family, my daughter most of all, quite the opposite as I love them dearly. Over time it became harder and harder to put a smile on my face, get up and do it all over again, day in and day out. At some point you have to decide, will you choose to remain in the cycle, or step outside of it? To truly go against the grain of society takes a considerable amount of effort. It takes really working to discover yourself without the intrusion of outside influences, and discover what you really feel deep down, what your thoughts mean. To observe your thoughts, how they develop, why they are what they are. Once coming to the realization that I was going with the flow of societal norms it made me feel incredibly sad, and at the same time incredibly motivated to change it. You are in control of your life if you choose to be, but it doesn’t come easy.
I will openly warn you that once you decide to truly step outside the box, to do the opposite of what society says, and likely what your family and friends say is right for you, you will experience a lot of judgment. You will be ridiculed, you will be labeled as selfish, and most will not understand why you are doing what you are doing. You have to put that aside and move forward anyway, for who is to say what is good for you, but you. The journey I have set out on, has been met with much resistance with the outside world, but with much comfort within my own mind and within my heart. You must be strong and determined, not let outside influences, even those you have trusted your whole life change your mind. You have a choice, to continue as you always have, or to open you eyes to the entire expanse of the world that is out there for you to discover. Living as society would have you live, is like staying in a room, and peering out a small window, sure you see a small glimpse of the beauty of the world outside, but you are limited. You have to open the door, step outside and explore everything. Look at the world around you and experience the love of nature, the love of something new, love of the unknown. Open your mind to take in all of this, process it and come to your own conclusion, not a conclusion you were lead to by someone else, something else, but a conclusion you came to because you have taken the time to really understand yourself, through self exploration.
I have had a few tell me I am lucky because of what I am doing. This isn’t luck, in fact I don’t believe in luck. I believe you create your own luck, you create you own destiny. I made a decision that will forever change the course of my life, wherever that leads, not by luck, not by chance, but by intentional movement. This is where the norm is left behind, and real living begins.