Tuesday I was texting with a friend who thanked me at the end for providing him with comfort. “It makes me realize I’m not crazy,” he wrote.
That made me realize we need to get clear on something most have backwards. Feeling ‘crazy’, like a freak, misunderstood, and even the loneliness that comes with those feelings should be cause for celebration.
When I was a little boy my mother began to say something that she still does: “You can’t tell Shaun what to do.” And you can’t. There has always been something within me that resists that with everything I have. Ask my husband, ask former boyfriends (clearly, look what happened). Friends who know me well have said, “It’s easier not to make you do something you don’t want to do.” It’s been over a dozen years since I began working for myself, I will never work for someone else again, and in the end I even chose being fired from PROUD FM over being told what to do.
My pushing against others telling me how to behave is not just to be difficult, is not because of ego or pride, not because I like people being unhappy with me or feeling I’m an a-hole; many have been and do.
I was made this way. Everybody is. We are all born knowing that nothing is more important than freedom, because the basis of joy is freedom and we are here to discover what makes us feel joy and to pursue it. >Tweet this!
Too many other people get caught up in the self-serving, agenda’d, antiquated ideas that society, culture, and religion dictate are the “right way” to live and the “wrong” until they utterly forget what they were born knowing.
The rest don’t forget – can’t – and would rather risk not pleasing the world (mission: impossible) and put their freedom first.
This is where the ‘crazy’, misunderstood, freak part comes in. Because when you make the choice to make freedom your top priority, shit happens. It can’t not.
Be on a different page to the majority of the people around you and you may have a lot of people coming and going in your life.
Make the choice to make freedom your top priority, you may end up broke, like I have been before.
Freedom might mean a divorce, freedom might mean moving elsewhere.
Shit happens when you choose freedom first.
And that shit – whatever words you use to describe it – means you are choosing joy, choosing your purpose.
And that is worth celebrating.
When you don’t get along with people, when people don’t understand you, when you think you are going crazy – good! It’s impossible to do you and not piss people off, not to have people disagree with you, not to have people judge you. When you are living your life in a way that makes you happy, you will buck the tide, you won’t be aboard with everyone else’s plan.
The degree to which you are pursuing your freedom will correspond with the degree to which you feel like you are alone, off, not the norm, crazy. And I’ve come to understand that those are amazing signs you are on the right track. It means you are doing things your way and because you came here to get your hands dirty in the muck of life and create your own version of joy, you have no choice but to do things your way and so good.
The trick – and this is why I feel so confident in sharing this with you – is to appreciate being on the leading edge instead of beating yourself up with mis-assigned labels. Every genius artist in history has been a tortured freak. Everything wonderful that has ever been created in every industry has been done by people who were loathed by others, who didn’t behave in ways that made many happy, who were hard to get along with; hello Steve Jobs. Real wonders of the world – Madonna – lead incredibly lonely lives and imagine being her children? That woman is in no way normal but look at her go. My friend Lisa, a freedom-seeker if there ever was one, recently blogged about all her fears lately – good! Those are bright lights telling her she is playing hard.
It’s never crowded when you throw a party for people living life their way. >Tweet this!
I can tell you unequivocally that I would rather pass on knowing I lived my life my way instead of realizing with dread at the last minute I wasted all my time being told what to do and how to do it by people who needed me to behave a certain way so they could feel good.
The next time you think you’re going ‘crazy’ pour yourself some champagne. Have a #ThoughtRevolution about not being normal. Stop thinking of being different as “wrong”. Go easy on yourself and be gentle. And raise that glass of bubbly to what that really means: you are living life the way you came to live it. Your way. Like me, no one can tell you what to do. And let the wild ride that ensues be your new normal.
There are people in your life who are feeling fearful and lonely and crazy – share this with them. And what are you feeling right now that you could be seeing as a good thing rather than a bad thing? Share in the comments below for others to read and let’s all stop beating ourselves up together.