I realized one day that the people I admire the most are the ones that live their lives without excuses. They are respectful, positive minded, energetic, kind people and the reason is simple; they aren’t trying to prove anything to anyone. They know who they are and they just go about living their lives doing what they do.
It is ingrained in us to look and ask for approval. As children we learn that good behavior is rewarded with praise of some sort and it feels better than being criticized. We also learn that one easy trick to avoiding criticism is to make up a story that seemingly excuses our actions. As we grow we not only become adept at making excuses to others and ourselves but also come to expect and accept them in our daily dealings with others. We become unaccountable for our thoughts and actions, in effect leading double lives.
A few years ago I saw Marianne Williamson speak. She’s a powerful speaker with a strong belief in her message. She spoke on her book “A Return to Love”. Often when speakers talk about love and peace they approach the subject with a sugar-coated countenance. Not Ms. Williamson! She delivered all the passion, power, determination and strength that I know love delivers to my heart. She never once apologized for her beliefs or her commitments. She stood up for herself and made herself accountable for her message and accountable in her life.
Most of the people I see as clients have lost their compass in life. They don’t know how to step forward, confused in their own minds they are often afraid of hurting others and stepping on other peoples’ toes. In trying to establish value in their lives they do more and more for others, further compromising themselves with every step they take. Eventually because they have allowed so many others to take up precious space in their minds they find themselves crowded to death with no room left to move. Unable to make their own choices without stepping on someone else’s toes they start apologizing for offending, for hurting, for questioning, even for being themselves. Depression is the only end result as we slowly come to realize that we are in danger of losing our selves.
We need to each claim ourselves back from the land of the excuses. Live boldly. Feel your own two legs under you and see them marching to the beat of your own drum. We each came here to live our own lives, our own way, in our own rhythm, so don’t make excuses for your life choices. Just live your life bravely with intention. Dare to be you!