We seem to live in a world of expectations…what we expect to get from others and what others expect to get from us. Often the expectations we believe others have of us can put us into a cage of our own making as we try to live up to those expectations.
We may feel that people have too high a regard for us…that they don’t see our flaws and faults. We may be rebels and refuse to meet the standards set for us by others, but then feel guilty about that or play down our own abilities just to be contrarians.
The bottom line in all of this is that when we are living for others and not for ourselves emotional and mental stress is the result. It behooves us – for our own health and sanity! – to be very clear about who we are and what our purpose is for the time we are given in this life. Purpose doesn’t have to be a Mother Teresa kind of thing. Many people are stressed that they don’t know what their purpose is…they envision a purpose or a legacy as some monumental thing. What if the purpose for each of us is just to ‘follow our bliss’ as Joseph Campbell writes. If each person living were blissful in the life they are creating, think about the difference that would make in the world!
We have to have a bit of courage to stand and say – in the face of our parents, spouses, children, friends, society – this is who I am and this is the way I am going to live because it is healthier for me than to live a lie trying to please others. So stop trying to be someone you’re not. It is a great challenge to be yourself in a world tying to make you conform and be like everyone else. Living that way does not create peace within.