For the past few months there has been a constant internal debate in my mind as to how I am going to achieve a fulfilled life. You know, a life that makes you wanna get up and put your socks on! And now I think I’ve finally Bingoed it…
I was told before that life’s purpose is simply to live. But you know how humans are, at least I certainly know how I operate, because the simpler the advice is, the more complicated I make it out to be. When thinking about that advice I would just ask myself but how do you just live? Does that mean to be present in the moment? Is that even enough for me? Isn’t that a bit bland and boring? The thought of that didn’t add any extra spice in my life and what I was desperately needing was a ride on that Spice Bus (please tell me you’ve seen the Spice Girls movie, if you haven’t then I’m sorry but there’s no hope for you…jokes).
That lack of ‘somethingness’ in ma life had me hooked on the self-help section of bookshops, had me binge watching videos on how to find out what I want, how to live a fulfilling life, how to be great at relationships, how to do this and that, how to make money, and very ironically on how to be creative. And little while ago I stumbled across a Ted talk by this charming lady titled The person you really need to marry. The obvious answer to somebody who is not at all new to the self-help mumbo jumbo was that we should be marrying ourselves.
Now that concept wasn’t exactly something I hadn’t heard before but the way she presented the argument made me think “if I were married to myself, what would I be doing that would show the love I have for the person I’m married to?”. The answer came weirdly easily to me, I would be taking myself out on dates, providing a safe space for myself to share, express and feel my feelings, giving myself space to do what I want to do in that moment, giving myself space and time to be creative (that means removing electronic stuff from my vista and allowing myself to just be present with myself, that means some alone time with myself without distractions), asking myself “what do I want to do today?”, allowing myself to do nothing today because I’m tired, allowing myself to not be perfect, focusing on how I am feeling, I would only tolerate being treated with respect, respecting my body, I would allow myself to get attention from other people, I would be truthful and real with myself, and focus on the person I want to be – who is basically a person who does all of the things I listed before.
You know, for so long I was trying to escape my life by looking up how to live that I’d actually forgotten to live it. It’s ironic how the very thing that is meant to help you can turn into an addiction and a way of escaping reality.
So what is the purpose of life?
To live it fully.
And how do I achieve that?
By having everyday be a me day. By having everyday be a day where you work on the relationship you have with yourself. Treat yourself like a plant or, better yet, like a cat. You have to give it some food, love, attention, loads of attention, some more attention, allow it to go out for strolls whilst you desperately panic about their safety, attempt to give them baths when you know it’s actually just an opportunity for them to give their nails a manicure and give yourself an arm peeling treatment, and clean its little poop house in order to keep it well and alive.
And how do I discover what to feed myself?
By listing all the things you’d be doing if you were married to yourself, AND THEN actually going out there and doing them! Get off the computer right now – or after you’ve read this ’cause I know you wanna read this… right? – and just sit with yourself and ask yo-self “what would I be doing right now if I loved myself?”
For me right this second that means allowing myself to express myself creatively through writing. Now, I’m no Charles Dickens, thank goodness, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t allow myself to express myself in whatever way I so desire. Just because I’m not good at the means I’m using to express myself doesn’t mean I shouldn’t just do it anyway. It also doesn’t mean that you have to share your creations with anyone but yourself. I chose to do it because it feels good to me to have it out there and makes me feel more fulfilled, but for you it may not, and that’s the beauty of you, you’re different from everybody else and have your own things and ways you like doing things. So go out there and do yo thang guuurl (or boiii).
I am also still learning what my thangs are. What I am now aware of is, however, that I am not going to learn what these things are by having me sit on ma butt reading a book or watching a video by somebody who doesn’t even know me to know what ma thang is. The idea that I wasn’t good enough to know what I wanted for myself and what I needed in life was so ingrained in me that it had become cellular. But that makes no sense at all since the only person who could possibly know that about myself is moi, nobody else can tell me what I want to do, only I can do that, and what a relief that is.
Trust me, as soon as you start doing the things on the list you wrote you’ll start feeling like yourself again and you’ll start learning about what you enjoy doing. Knowing what you enjoy doing will lead you to know what you want to be doing in the moment, which hopefully should be what you enjoy doing. You don’t have to know what you’re going to be doing in 5 years, for all we know you could be dead in a month, so do yourself a favour and remove that weight off your shoulders and do what feels good today. If you do that everyday trust that it will translate into something good and it will bring you inspiration and happiness every single day.
By the way happiness doesn’t mean you don’t experience yucky feelings. Happiness is the ability to feel, to give your feelings attention and to allow yourself to do what feels great in the moment. If what feels best right now is lying in bed crying your eyeballs out about something, even though that feeling sucks, it is what’s best for you at that moment because it will feel better to listen to what you’re feeling and needing than to ignore yourself, which will lead to feelings of low self-worth, and we ain’t having that, are we?