It’s funny, isn’t it, how everything we do, we think others should be doing as well. If we’re going to the gym, we think everyone else should be going to the gym, too. Or become a vegetarian. Or run marathons. Or read novels.
“Others would be happy like me if they just lived the way I do,” we think.
I guess it comes from some deep place of wanting approval for our behavior. A pat on the back. A longing for company, for confirmation.
Instead, what if your behavior was perfect only for you? What if you didn’t need others to make it “right”? Would you have the courage to make the same choices, no matter how others choose to live their lives?
There’s a song written by my friend J. Donald Walters, that sums this up perfectly:
Walk like a man,
Even though you walk alone.
Why court approval,
Once the road is known?
Let come who will,
But if they all turn home,
The goal still awaits you:
Go on alone!
Here’s something mind-blowing: What if your life were perfect, just the way it is… for you? What if the world was tailor-made for you, with all its disappointments, its challenges, its victories, tailor-made to help you grow in a certain way, to fight, to overcome?
So the gym is perfect only for you, today. The book, the marathon, the vegetarian meal… all perfect, but just for you.
Doesn’t that free us from having to convince others to change their lives? Wouldn’t that make us more responsible for our own choices, for what we want to accomplish?
Then it falls only on us to notice and appreciate how much each of our lives are, moment by moment, already perfect.