“A true friend knows your weaknesses, but show you your strengths, feels your fears but fortifies your faith, sees your anxieties but frees your spirit, recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities.” William Arthur Ward
“I Am what is around me.” – Wallace Stevens
The other day I was thinking about life, and what people expect from you, how people tell you should be or doing this & that. I hear it all the time, you should have a book, you should be a writer, you should be a photographer, you’re in the wrong profession, etc. You start to think that while you’re happy with your life, your job, the places you’ve been, the things you’ve done & people you’ve touched & been inspired by, that somehow that isn’t enough… you should be doing more. You should work harder. You could have more money to buy more things & go more places, a bigger audience & more attention. But, I don’t care for those things & it’s not what motivates me. I began thinking perhaps I’m not passionate enough? But that’s not true, I’m one of the most passionate people I know & aren’t I already living that life? Inspiring, creating, sharing? So then I have to stop questioning myself and imposing other people’s opinions on me. I know who I am & I know the purpose I serve. I feel successful in many ways & feel as long as you’re happy with who & where you are & what you have, that’s all that’s needed. Life is a lot simpler than we make it.
But, that’s what’s honored in our society, you’re supposed to go to school for years on end to learn false history & things you never end up using, to work hard, make that money to buy those things, be who your parents want you to be & don’t stop at anything for success, even if it means running people over or time away from your friends & family. That’s called sacrifice, right? But, it’s not until you’re about to die that you realize it’s not what everyone wants you to do or who they expect you to be, it’s not about working your life away, suppressing your feelings & no time for loved ones… all that leads to unhappiness. Why wait till you’re about to die to contemplate these things? Why should we be made to think we are not enough, and we don’t have enough, that you shouldn’t be happy where you are and that more = good? It’s all an illusion.
Today, a friend shared a link regarding people’s regrets on their deathbeds. I thought to share as well.
When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again & again. Here are the most common five:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
The way I see it… besides what you ask them, you can also get to know people by the questions they ask you. And, if they’re not asking you any anything, chances are they don’t really care to get to know much about you. Questions show an eagerness to learn about things & people. If someone thinks asking questions is being nosy, or if they become tense or uneasy when you ask them things, chances are they’re hiding something, uptight about themselves to begin with, &/or don’t like opening up in general. That has nothing to do with you, those are their issues. Candid & honest people don’t find it too hard to communicate. Questions lead to answers & a greater understanding of each other. Some people will sit & listen but never share of themselves. Sharing is caring & if you find yourself always diverging information & you don’t know anything about the other person, that’s not genuine communication… that’s more like a one way road… & real friends travel back & forth on 2 way streets.