Who I Choose To Be, and on the days that I remember to notice it, it's usually a nice little kick in guts to bring my life philosophy to the forefront of my brain. The other morning I "re-noticed" it again, having tuned it out as background noise for quite a few weeks, and I wanted to share with you what it means to me.
My philosophy on life and being is that you are, essentially the sum of not only your experiences, but your choices as well...and that "who you are" is not a justification, but a work in progress. So, this is my goal sheet, how I'd like the world to see me and what I strive towards. I fall down. I get up again. I stuff it up. I try to fix it up. And I'll keep doing that, for the rest of my life.
Independent...those of you who know me in real life might be chuckling right now. And I can well see why. But this is the top of my list - who I want to be, and be seen as. I want others in my life, those I love and who are important to me. But I do not need any specific one of them to survive, to be happy, healthy or fulfilled. I can do and live all of those things for myself, sharing the experience with whoever wants to be along for the ride. But I'll never again put myself in the position of thinking "I can't live without you", because it's ultimately both disempowering, and diminishes the impact of love that is given freely, by choice, not need. If you're a part of my life, you're here because I want to share it with you - not because I need you to make it complete.
Strong...kinda goes with independent. I'll cry. I've had my heart broken, and probably will again. I'll have shitty days and days where I think "I just can't do this any more, it's too hard". But then, I will remember how much more rewarding life's good moments are when I have waded knee deep in metaphorical feces to get to them and I will pick myself up and keep going. Because I am strong.
Compassionate...I will not become so jaded by my own experiences, so immersed in my own perspective, that I can't see at least a portion of others pain, and sit quietly with them in solidarity. I'll remember also that compassion doesn't always mean consolation, but never means condemnation...and I'll remember this especially when I'm on the receiving end of tough love.
Honest...I will not lie, or cheat. I won't be deliberately manipulative or vindictive. I'll tell it like it is, but with tact and sensitivity. I will be who I am, and I won't play games. Knowing how I feel might be overwhelming sometimes, but at least you'll know where you stand.
Committed...to life, to love, to my goals. If I make you a promise, I'll do whatever I can to keep it. If I tell you I'll be there for you, I will mean it even when it means going out of my way. I will be the friend who is "always there". I'll be able to look myself in the mirror and know that I've been loyal, that I have given my all in terms of love, time and effort. If a friendship or relationship is worth being in, it's worth being in 110%.
Appreciative...of others, their time and their actions. Saying "thank-you" in words and gestures to those who are there for me. Not taking my friends and family for granted, nor assuming their availability or presence in my life.
Respect...for others and for myself. I will do the above without compromising my own integrity. I will be slow to anger, slow to judge and quick to forgive. I'll show my respect for those I share my life with in words, thoughts and actions.
Perspective...there are times for close focus and times for wide angle. I'll remember that I should seek first to understand the perspectives of others, before I can ask them to see mine. I will do my best to put mutual understanding first, and personal feelings second. I'll remember that sometimes being right, is not nearly as important as the damage it would cause to prove a point.
Wherever you are, be there...most of all, I will remember to try to fully engage in the moment that I'm in and the people that I'm with. More coming on this one in a few days, when I finish my own personal take on hyperconnectivity.
Largely though, you could sum up my philosophy at living by Wheaton's Law: Don't be a dick!
Till next time, peeps!