Be True to Yourself, a Perspective
Knowing Your True Self - Preface
Welcome to our first installation in the series Perspectives. We have a staff of five contributors: MickeySr, Docmo, Martie, Maria and myself. We hope you enjoy this series and encourage your comments.
Setting the world and your obligations aside, what makes YOU happy? When your 9-5 is over, the food is on the table, the kids are in bed, laundry is done, bills paid, animals fed, etc, etc., what do you do for yourself? What makes you, the person who you are inside, underneath all the chores and responsibilities of life, happy?
Setting aside the perpetual duties that relentlessly demand our attention, what do YOU want from life? How do you envision your life? If you had no encumbrances, how would you live the one life you have on this Earth? You must first know who you really are before you can answer this most crucial question. Setting aside all the identities that life thrusts upon us (parent, neighbor, employee, cook, maid, etc,) who are you? What do you like and enjoy? What makes you, the real you, happy?"
When All is Said and Done....
Face it, we all have obligations. If you have your priorities set, those obligations come first. Whether familial obligations, work, or making sure the bills are paid, it seems what is expected of you comes first. And so it should. These are the choices we make when we become spouses, parents, homeowners and employees.
This can and does become overwhelming. Sometimes we think, 'when do I get time for me?' Don’t chastise yourself. You wouldn’t be human if these thoughts didn’t disrupt your psyche from time to time. However, when they hit, take heed. It is time to do for your self. Yes, be selfish. You cannot spread yourself without having inner peace and strength.
I have a motto by which I live: if it feels good, do it, if it doesn’t, don’t, and when it stops, quit! This may seem selfish, but you must be true to your self! Recognizing this and acting upon it will keep you from falling into a permanent state of depression or becoming resentful of those who depend on you.
What pleases you? What puts a smile on your face and a song in your heart? If you had your druthers, what would you do for you? Think about it while I share with you what makes me happy.
Things That Make Me Happy
Music is a huge part of my life. I absolutely must have music. Before I turn on my computer at work, I fire up the radio. When I awaken through the night, a song is in my head and again in the morning. Docmo recently asked me, “Which song?” My subconscious has a life of its own. It’s never the same song and I have no idea how my subconscious chooses, but the songs range the span from childhood songs (Maresedotes!) through current period. Apparently, my mind never sleeps but music is my “key”!
I won’t include my love of writing in this piece. I wouldn’t be here and you wouldn’t be reading this if that weren’t true and obvious.
I’ve always had a propensity to read, which is probably why I became a writer. I’ve been known to spend hours on my front porch (music on!) reading a novel. I must admit, since reviving my freelance career, I haven’t actually picked up a book in quite some time. I do, however, read. Lately my reading material is provided by the multitude of talented writers on HubPages. From poetry, to how-to’s, to advice on living simply, to living green, to experiencing parts of the world I’ve never seen, I have a library at my hands much larger than my home library. Thanks to all of you. You keep me perpetually entertained, informed, and spark reflection!
Yanni, My Favorite Artist, Lifts Me from Opression
More Things That Make Me Happy
If you’ve read my poetry, you know Mother Nature is an inspirational factor in my life. Have you every actually watched a Morning Glory open her face to the dawn of a new day? Have you seen her fold at dusk, knowing it’s time to sleep and replenish for the next new day? Watch Mother Nature. Listen to her. Hear the birds in the morning? See them flit about busy at the day’s tasks? Hear the night bugs? Listen. Stop talking and listen. Life in its pure form is miraculous, comforting, and flat-out amazing! Take time to stop and smell the roses. Better yet, do your part.
Gardening is a love of mine. Take a look at my upcoming pineapples. I absolutely have a smile on my face! Although I enjoy the maintenance of mowing and weeding, creating a plant bed is akin to an artist seeing the fruits of his labor on canvas. Digging out the blueprint of an imagined landscape, applying a border to deter the intrusion of grass and/or weeds, lovingly incorporating colors, textures, and natural protection is most awesome. At the end of the day, when you’re covered in dirt and sweat, stand back. Admire the fruits of your labor. It’s as satisfying as seeing your child become successful or at least finding his way in life. Seeing your vision come to life can and will put a smile on your face and hopefully, a song in your heart.
I Have More to Say
By now you may be thinking, “where does family come into Shauna’s mix?” Family is absolutely a part of what makes me happy, but the theme is “what makes YOU happy?” We’re talking about individuals. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be blessed with children or family who are still alive. Additionally, this theme was predicated upon who you were before you extended yourself, opened your arms and became responsible for others.
However, I would be remiss if I didn’t claim kin to the moments when my son and I laugh. We laugh often. We’re both silly and can simultaneously bust out in uncontrollable laughter. We have a much different relationship than my mom and I. My son and I can talk about anything. I’ve told him of my past mistakes and supported him in righting his. We share unconditional love. Our love allows us to share thoughts openly, yell when necessary, direct, argue, etc. At the end of the day, we say “I love you” freely and openly hug, no matter who’s around. The best gift of all is the belly-aching laughter we induce in each other and share. Moms and dads are gifted in that only a select few have the honor of calling us Mom or Dad. If that doesn’t give your child(ren) an idea of just how special they are, I don’t know what does!
I am giving you my perspective as to what I do to maintain connection with the person I am. Me: the person who has been key in developing another life; the person who has brought others into her life (and has since eliminated some). The “me” I was before I gained titles (wife, mom, chief bottle washer, bread winner, etc.). Do you get my point now? K. Let’s move on.
In the Wind
One of the most “freeing” ways to escape and come into myself is in the wind. Whether on the bow of the boat, wind in my hair and waves slapping the hull or on the back of a Harley, thunder roaring through the engine, there’s nothing like the freedom of the wind. When experiencing Mother Nature through the wisp of her breeze, her resplendence comes to life. The smells, the sights, the hues, textures of life are seen as in no other realm. At least that’s what I experience. I get lost. I go into another world void of stress, responsibility, wariness, compression, and mistrust. Being in the wind restores me. It rejuvenates me. I float above the suppression of life on earth. My spirit soars. I am free and that is what makes me truly happy!
Another - perhaps odd to some - time I find happiness is through solitude. I have no problem being alone. I once needed companionship. I no longer feel the need to have someone in my life in order to feel complete. Don’t get me wrong – companionship is wonderful when it is true companionship and not full of expectation and/or criticism. Learning to be with and by myself has allowed me to grow. To reflect on my life and what is right or wrong. Where am I in the formula? Am I the cause? Am I the force in what allows me to grow? Or am I the cause for not moving forward? Solitude allows me to go inside myself and reflect on my life, what I want from life, how I want to be perceived. It is when I’m true to myself. I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. I don’t blame anything on anyone else. I am in control whether at the forefront or through my actions. I can gain. I can lose. The choice is mine and mine alone. Solitude is integral to my fortitude or weakness. Solitude allows me to know myself and face me. I’m not afraid. I am true to myself!
Perspectives From our Team
Let's see what the rest of the team has up their sleeves! Visit the links below for more perspectives on happiness.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Shauna L Bowling