WHEN “THEY” TRY TO PUT YOU IN A BOX, BE “YOU”

Why don’t you just focus on one thing? He asked me.

Because I love the things that I am doing, am having fun, and things are going well.

“You are all over the place, and you look lost,” he told me.

But now he was angry.

My first instinct was to agree with him. To just say anything to make him feel better. But then I realized something that’s been helpful in dealing with these kinds of situations.

The statements that make people maddest are those they worry might be true.

I AM all over the place. I speak at conferences, run a creative business, have international special projects, consult, meditate, swim, run, bike, cook, connect with humans that matter to me, tend to my compost bin, hire people, travel, see family, and many many other things.

So, yes, he is right. But why did that make him so uncomfortable?

Maybe he wanted to do a lot of things too, and was stuck in one job he didn’t really like. Maybe he thought I could actually pull it off, and he would get jealous. Maybe maybe maybe. Thinking about all the things others think is the best way to run yourself into a grave of exhaustion among the living dead.

Fear usually shows up as anger, and ironically, it is just seeking more love. Self-love, external love, love. That’s what it wants.

So today I write for any of you who are trying a lot of things, those of you that have been labeled as “lost,” and those of you that have the courage to dare to live outside of the box that threatens the security of those around you.

Here is what my “all over the place” life looks like:

You can be a college football player and love to write poetry.

You can love your parents and live a life that’s different than they imagined for you.

You can enjoy high levels of self-confidence and deeply worry about your own shadows.

You can be good at the stable job you have and like and leave it to start your own business you create and love.

You can be excited about new possibilities, and scared to let go of your current conveniences.

You can love kids and not want to have them right now.

You can be clear about your life’s work and be confused about the timeline.

You can give generously to others and protect your own energy and interests.

You can be high energy and introspective.

You can have free time and not be available for others.

You can be compassionate and empathetic and vocally disagree with opinions that don’t align with your core beliefs.

You can say you’d never stop eating meat and then become a vegan.

You can be from the Midwest and then live all over the world.

You can have friends and be anti-social.

You can be a yes person and still say no, a lot.

You can love technology and disappear in nature’s hug.

You can change your mind and still be stable and dependable.

You can change your mind and still be a good person.

You can change your mind and not have to explain it.

You can do this and you can do that.

Whatever this.

Whatever that.

Yes you can.

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