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Why I Live Life on My Own Terms



I was raised in a culture that taught me to believe that my leaders knew exactly what was best for me. They taught me what I should eat, what clothes I should wear, and whether or not I should have kids or get a job. They told me how much money I should donate to charity, and exactly which charity to donate to (which happened to be their multi-billion dollar corporation that was only giving a tiny portion of their wealth to people in need).


They taught me to doubt anyone who said anything different.


And it worked.


For over forty years I bought into it.


I was all in.


I was the good girl who wanted to obey and so I followed all the rules and did exactly as I was told.


I did this faithfully until my life began to crumble and I started to see cracks in the so-called "perfect" system.


Little by little, I began to see lies and deception under the surface that broke me to the core.


I began to realize that the map they handed me was causing me and my family more harm and heartbreak than I ever thought possible.


I began to see that their prescription for life was not only not working for me, but for many of the people I love as well.


I was eventually able to break free of this mindset, but it hasn't been easy.


It has taken quite some time and some serious mental rewiring to realize and accept that I know what's best for me.


I mean, I don't always know exactly what's going to get the absolute best results all the time (that would be perfectionism rearing it's ugly head again) but I am the only one that knows my whole life story. I am the only one that understands the gifts, privileges, hopes, dreams, challenges, hurts, heartbreaks, woundings, traumas, and nuances I personally face.


This is me. This is my life. And I will own that now until the day I die.


Being human is complex.


There are no easy answers or quick fixes.


There isn't one person or organization that can simply write a life plan for all of us and be done with it.


We all must face this individual journey on our own.


We have to get quiet and look inside ourselves to discover what is right and good for us.


I now try to make decisions by connecting to my values and then paying attention to reality, rational reasoning, and tangible clues. (The concept of trusting my "gut" messed me up so bad because I could never tell what was just an emotional feeling that was confusing me.)


I don't always know exactly what to do and sometimes I just learn by trial and error, but even if I make mistakes along the way (which I am guaranteed to do) at least it is me that is making the choices and learning as I go.


And sure, it's often helpful to seek for guidance or advice from ethical and wise people who have life experience and insightful information that could be useful for me, but even then, I ultimately have to decide what is best for me.


Mary Oliver once said "tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"


Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? - Mary Oliver


I may not always know, but I am certainly going to be the one to figure it out.


So, here's to creating our own beautiful lives.


We got this!


Love,


Julia


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