If you are open about your life, you will undoubtedly receive a whole heap of unsolicited advice. Most is from a kind or concerned place, sent with love and good wishes, and I send abundant appreciation for that advice, even if I don’t always choose to follow it. Then, of course, there are the moral policers who are waiting to say “you’re wrong” or “you’ve made a bad choice”.
There are several things in life which are undoubtedly wrong, hurting people or inaccurate math for example, but the things I’ve been criticised for, told I should change immediately, are my personal choices. Life is complex, nuanced, layered and everyone is different. What is wrong for you, might be right for me and vice versa. I believe that people should have a choice. If everyone followed the same life path, life would be pretty boring (and kind of cult-ish).
It’s not only my choice in husband or my choice in home I’ve been told is wrong. It’s my choice to learn from and experience my husband’s culture and religion. I would say to anyone with the opportunity to experience another culture or travel to a distant land, grab it by the horns! You don’t have to change who or what you are, but seeing life from a different perspective will inevitably open your eyes and shed your preconceptions. You don’t always need a plane ticket to broaden your mind, simply stepping out of your comfort zone can trigger an inner revolution.
When I was younger, I really wanted to be religious and have faith, and I was kind of jealous of those who did. I yearned to know an absolute truth, I wanted a guaranteed, tried and tested, path. I spent several years reading about Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Kabbalah. Some parts felt intrinsically right, others didn’t. I’ve since come to peace with the fact that I don’t fit into a religious label. I’ve realised that if God was powerful enough to create a universe, surely s/he would be able to lay out more than one path towards her/him. I have learnt that for me to feel aligned with something higher, I need to stay close to things that make my soul sing.
I remember in school, we had to do a test to discover our learning style, whether we learnt best by hearing, seeing or doing. The teachers recognised that we all learn in unique ways, they used the results of the test to customise their teaching to maximise our potential. I think this applies to life, we are all unique, following different paths. Sometimes we make mistakes, we learn through trail and error, but it is our unique path, our choice.
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