I’ve learned a few things about myself recently, including some less-than-favorable things. The most potent is the discovery that I am more judgmental than I realized, and my judgment is often just a mask I wear in attempt to disguise my jealousy. Yikes! This is not the self-concept I am going for, though I am grateful for the “tough love” teacher who often shows up in the form of self-discovery.
To break it down, here are five lessons that resulted from this epiphany:
– I can be pretty open-minded, though the truth is that I have some pretty staunch opinions as well. I’ve been categorizing some of these personal opinions as absolute truth – or at least, “I’m absolutely right, they’re absolutely wrong.”
– Most of what I have ever judged in life comes back around to face me personally, and I typically perform much “poorer” on the test I previously placed in front of someone else.
– I now recognize that a certain amount of my judgment was actually due to my jealousy and my perception that someone else was living a life I secretly wanted to live – even if I was making assumptions about how “easy” or desirable their life might have been.
– I believe I truly used to be more open-minded and open-hearted, and with time and age, I have hardened. I have always loved people just for being people, and I believe that we are all just trying to navigate this thing called life.
– In its own way, this lesson is helping me understand and put words to what I really want in life at this time. It is an excellent teacher. (There’s nothing like getting really, really……..really real with yourself.)
The truth is that I want a freer life. I want to be free from what I consider to be the confines of the traditional work-life in society. The hours, the high stress, high demands, separation from time with family, phony measurements of identity and self-worth, and the financial prison – and for others who want this freedom as well, I want to support their efforts in achieving it. I took some big steps towards this desire a few years ago when my personal mission was, “to do more of my own thing in order to live differently”. I recognize that I have simply progressed and evolved to my next major growing pain, and the further I get from what looks “normal” to society, the more I need to find new resources and new mentors.
Therefore, I am now slightly obsessed with the growing numbers of stories about people who have, as I like to say, “dropped the mic” on their normal-looking lives to change the rules and create lives from scratch that fulfill their hearts. In my career coaching, I have met many people who want more freedom in their lives, and each person defines freedom a little differently. Some still want to explore within the current common work-life structure and options in the traditional job marketplace, and some have a dream of stepping further off the grid.
To give you a glimpse into my next project, I am on a quest to interview people who have reimagined and reinvented their lives in a way that required them to rewrite the options in the “Choose Your Own Adventure” book that was the manual for their path. The examples will vary greatly, though the common thread will remain – people stepping out of the box towards their own personal freedom and freedom for their families – however they define that.
One such example is this woman’s story, “Five Things I Learned When I Quit My 6-Figure Salary And Moved To Mexico”. Read it here.
I love this story! What a true tale of love, courage, and self actualization! Interestingly enough, where I first saw this posted, I was alarmed at the amount of criticism that was launched at this woman and this family. To paraphrase, here are a few of the negative responses I observed:
– Great! Let me just go out and get a 6-figure salary first!
– What’s so wrong with staying in this country? Why doesn’t she love America?
– There’s plenty you can do without making such huge changes. Just don’t follow everyone else.
And so on….. Many people may truly hold these feelings and opinions, and that is completely fine and understandable, though it made me wonder – Might some of these people be lashing out because they want they’re own version of this freedom as well? We all have this one gift of life to live in the way we feel fulfills our souls. It is food for thought, and I will leave you with this quote that sits on my desk:
“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world they have been told to.” ~ Alan Keightly