Sometimes all that one needs to do is ask questions. And thereafter, the listening is a lovely experience.
A quote that I read in Katie Couric's book goes something like, 'you never learn anything if you were going to be listening only to yourself speak". Yes, these are not the exact words and I am unable to find the book in the growing pile I have so that I can reproduce it here verbatim *and* attribute it to the person by whom these words were spoken.
Lately all that I am doing is asking people questions. About decisions they take and the choices they make. Trying to understand my own belief systems and seeing where I stand. I have come across some beautifully carefree souls. Selfless ones. And I take away a lot of lessons from each conversation.
A friend told me to be "selfish enough to be happy". Another told me to "speak out what you have in your heart". Sometimes, my friend says, we care too much about other people, what they think and more so, these 'people' are those we don't even know. So to say, these people are the "They" we speak of. "They" are no one in particular but they are omnipresent. However, it required a friend to bring into perspective that we are giving an omnipresent quality to those who dont deserve it really. Yes, maybe you are doing something that a third person will frown upon. But does your action give you happiness? However, no judging here. I'm not going into the "true happiness" "spiritual happiness" or "conscientious happiness" or the happiness that comes from "not hurting others"... you know, you get the drift.
We don't allow ourselves to be happy most times. And should we not sit with ourselves and decide what it is that makes us happy? More often that not the answer won't lie in material aspects. It might be in spending time by yourself somewhere. Or anything at all. When was the last time you found out what you wanted? Did you spend time with yourself to find out if you were doing things that make you happy? Most importantly, without judging yourself. The biggest punishment we give ourselves is the judgment we pass on what we can/cannot/should/shouldnt/ought to do. Forget about passing judgments on others. Cannot do this because XYZ's aunt will think something.
But otherwise you know, when you die, who are you going to be answerable to? Are you going to lie there in the last moments of your life thinking that hey, you made good use of this time here on this realm and also had fun in the process or sigh that you led a life in a strait jacket you stitched around yourself, which I am sure others also put in a chain stitch or a cross stitch as they deemed convenient, living with as little movement that the jacket allowed? Of course I am sure there are people who are happy to lead a life like that, no judging there. But I guess what I am telling myself here and maybe to you, who read all these paragraphs to reach this line, that it is high time you chose to be happy. Doing the things you like. High time you lived. :) If you are, let me know, I'd be happy to take notes while I also go about my own journey.
Love. Live. Find the peace within. Its beautiful I hear.