I haven’t written in a while…not because I have run out of ideas, but because it appears 24 hours is insufficient these days. I still take time off every now and then to listen to people and share my insights with them; I still enjoy conversations that give me fresh topics to write about and I still have my life-reflection moments, one of which I am about to share with you today.
Someone recently asked me what the best decision I’ve made till date is. No, I wasn’t at a job interview. I was surrounded by eager youngsters who probably wanted to hear me say my best decision till date is the course I studied at university (which is not the case), or perhaps they wanted to hear me say I made a good decision to attend a certain university…. that would not be a lie perse but I think I’ve made decisions that have served me better and shaped who I’ve become. Yea… they were definitely not expecting the response I gave… that I took a break to love myself.
Everything is fast-paced these days. People build relationships as quickly as it takes a Mcdonalds server to put a hamburger together, and they tear relationships apart in just as much time as it takes to consume that flat dry burger (no shade McDs; just saying it as it is). More evident than ever before is that we are increasingly reliant on external influences for love. We are increasingly seeking ways to please the public without knowing we are actually doing so. Many of us want love from others when our love reservoir within is running on empty. We want to go from one relationship to the next without taking time to heal. We want to build friendships on the spur of the moment without taking time to assess the bandwagons we are jumping on. In a matter of months, it’s about “you said, she said” (#NoNewFriends). We want validation from our income, employment status, marital status, home location, family background, relationships, and even the media (which by the way can’t be bothered if we were to slip off the surface of the earth).
We let our lives be dictated by social constructs and the beliefs of others – cultural beliefs, new age beliefs and the not-really-here-nor-there beliefs. We are so caught up in trying to please, we forget to do the needful – to take a break from everything to love ourselves.
Surely, you can’t take a break from everything at once, but you need to take a break from where you tend to go looking for love the most. If you validate yourself through romantic relationships in spite of how toxic they are to you, it is time to take a break. If you validate yourself based on the opinions of friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers, it is time to take a break for some introspection. If you have been validating yourself based on your not-so-happy marriage, it is time to take a break from the strenuous exercise of external validation and focus on yourself.
What makes you tick? What would you do if you were not afraid, not worried about what others think or what they would say? How would you live your life if you came to fully accept your reality? How would you relate with others if you were mask-free, societal-obligation-free, external expectation free, and really just yourself and nothing less?
Take a break to discover who you would be if you were not listening to so many voices, reading so many expectations and believing in so many rules. When you truly love yourself, you are free… and that is the best decision you’ll ever make.