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May the world be kind to you, and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself. - Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

I have no need to conform to the stereotypes others have defined for me. - Jonathan Lockwood Huie


I have no need to conform to the stereotypes others have defined for me.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I received a couple of comments describing yesterday's message as "disgusting," and "offensive." I apologize if anyone felt offended, it was certainly not my intention to insult anyone or to suggest that life is less than difficult for anyone.

The issue with my message, as one writer put it... "In this day and age, women are 'expected' to work outside the home as well as care for the children, husband and home....get the meals, do the laundry, etc. Perhaps they are incredibly tired, find little time for them to get back to a peaceful state of mind as they are expected to carry so many loads."

I agree. Those are the generally accepted expectations of American society.

But what next?

One choice is to suffer, the other choice is to seek joy.

So how to seek joy?

Sometimes joy can be found in striving to make changes, and sometimes it is better attained through acceptance. This is well said in the Serenity Prayer...

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
- Reinhold Niebuhr

Whether you opt to seek change, or to accept, choose joy.

Each of us has a choice in all matters. There is nothing that any of us ever HAVE to do. Each of us, man or woman, chooses the roles we play, and what we make of our lives at each instant. Expectation and Tradition are burdens we take upon ourselves, or choose to throw off.

Does this mean becoming selfish? Not at all, it means becoming selective. It always means doing what we believe is right, regardless of the expectations of others.

As an example, imagine that our aging parent needs our help. There are three courses we can steer: #1. Care for them, but grumble and complain about how unfair and burdensome life is, how we are expected to provide assistance, and how unhappy it makes us to care for our mom. #2. Choose to make other arrangements for mom's care. #3. Be of service to mom because we CHOOSE to make a free-will gift of our time, energy and love.

I propose that #2 is preferable to #1. Visualizing myself as an aging parent (which doesn't take a lot of imagining), I wouldn't want an unhappy person around me who thought I was a burden. Naturally, I believe that #3 is the best option. But the way to get to #3 is to understand that #2 is also a choice. Unless we truly believe that #2 is an option, we can't reach #3, and we get stuck with #1, feeling resentful and victimized.

Life isn't fair. We can't choose our circumstances. But we can choose happiness, or not.

Conscious choices are NOT easy. It is much easier to believe that we are tossed about helplessly on the ocean of circumstances.

Expectations (Demands) suck the juice out of life. Don't believe that you are bound by other's demands. You do not have to conform to the stereotypes others have defined for you.

Further reading: Intention versus Expectation (Demand)

The path of the adventurer is a path of joy - jlh

Why I Choose to Believe that Others are Never the Cause of My Unhappiness

Resilience is about believing in yourself, and trusting your own wisdom rather than being swayed by the opinions of others.

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Please visit www.jlhuie.com often for quotes to inspire, motivate, comfort, or nudge you to look at life in new ways. Each day there are several new quotes on a common theme, which might be finding comfort, living life to the fullest, being of service to the less fortunate, giving thanks for your blessings, or a myriad of other topics. I hope you also like each day's picture-quote. Please let my know what you think of my Daily Quotes by emailing me at jlh @ sail7 .com

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