What do the rules mean to you?
To me the rules always seemed bland, boring and miserable.
Whatever success or happiness I enjoyed always seemed to be an exception to the rules.
So I came to expect that my happiness in life had to be “different” and “exceptional” by other people’s standards.
There are no such rules
But what I thought were “the rules” were never any such thing. They were merely the preferences and opinions of the people around me.
Those people were creating their own reality, just as I create mine. Yet by giving priority to those who had “been around longer” I ended up treating my own preferences and perspective as unusual.
I couldn’t get them to validate my perspective, so I viewed it as anomalous myself.
That’s a recipe for frustration because everything I want became, by definition, exceptional, and I grew averse to anything “ordinary” or “normal”.
Yet saying “this is what I want” and in the next breath “but I know it’s unusual, exceptional, and not the norm” means I’ve created a sense of conflict and implausibility to the things I desire.
Imagine someone who tells you their dream is to be an astronaut or a famous actor or a concert pianist, and hurriedly goes on to explain how unlikely that is!
What is normal for me?
I would probably feel a whole lot better if I stopped using other people’s lives as the measure of mine.
Better yet, if I stop using my impression of other people’s perceptions and experiences as the standard.
Why not let my own preferences and desires become normal for me? Why not use my own feelings as the guide, rather than my fear of others’ misunderstanding of me?
I found great strength in the realisation that no one else will live my life for me. Why not take the next logical step of endorsing my own life, opinions, preferences and perspectives as the norm for me?