I struggled with this prompt more than the earlier ones. Here’s where I am at right now:
There are a few things that upset me:
1. UNSOLICITED UNIVERSAL SHOULDS. I find it troubling how some people INSIST that they know what you should do in your life – just because it worked for them or because it’s always been done this way or because everyone else is doing it. This is the kind of job you should get and this is how you should build a business and this is how you should parent. Ughh. People are unique. What they want and need is unique to them. I think offering advice without taking into account this uniqueness leads to more problems than solutions.
2. BEING LIMITED TO INTELLECTUAL KNOWLEDGE. This is the hole I recently dug myself out of. I KNEW so much about all the science and the research on living a happy and fulfilling life. And yet, I found myself struggling to be happy – even though I had a lot of what I’d once longed for. What was I missing? An embodied understanding of what all that knowledge felt like. I knew being kind to myself would help me. But I needed to stop over-identifying with my mind so that I could tap into the wisdom of my body, heart, and soul and learn what it feels to be kind to myself. It has been game-changing. So much of the self-improvement world out there is purely mental. There’s isn’t enough out there about how to actually put this advice into practice in a way that shifts one’s way of being.
3. TRYING TO FIND ALL THE ANSWERS EXTERNALLY: People spend so much time and energy in trying to/hoping for things outside of them to change that they don’t make use of all the ways in which THEY could change their own lives. Yes, circumstances and people can be challenging. Yes, systems are broken and we need changes at the institutional/policy level. Yes, organizations should be designed to take care of employee well-being. AND, individuals have power too. Every single one of us can take action to improve our own lives – irrespective of what’s happening outside of us. It makes me frustrated to see so many people giving their power away.
I don’t know if I actually answered the prompt but these are the things that came up as of now.