Every 4yr old’s favorite game is, ‘why?’ This game can go on for as long as the adult can put up with it and usually ends in, ‘because I said so.’ I’m guilty of saying this, and I swore I never would but the little dude wore me out!
. . . And it is a game, only we no longer want to play games as adults, we laugh less than children, we have ‘responsibilities’ and they kill our dreams and steal our laughter.
I can’t keep playing this game with you because someone else once told me they ‘said so’ and so I believed them. I believe that I am out of time, and the my dreams are less important than living a secure life with a car, a house, 2 kids, a puppy, a job.
I read inspirational quotes on IG and FB about living your dream, double tap, and scroll on to the next picture rather than placing down the phone and living that dream.
. . . because someone said so, and because I believed them. Because I would disappoint my parents, my boss, my spouse, my kids . . . But don’t you want to inspire your kids to follow their dreams? And how will you show them this . . . by staying at a job you are safe at, double tapping a photo and drinking a glass of wine.
My Pops took care of us. He went to work 5 days a week to put bread, meat and potatoes on the table each night. He smoked cigarettes, drank a rum and coke, and watched Star Trek. He taught me how to keep everyone at a safe distance, or locked into a box, and to have an exit strategy. He taught me how to be a man.
And the television told me that to be a man I need to drive a fancy car, date a model, go to work and hate my boss, and that’s what I should want. And if I do these things, my penis would be huge, because that’s what being a man means. And this is what I have been told all my life. And I did all of those things and I still felt empty, lacking.
So I read these inspirational quotes posted by a stranger, shared by a friend, living the same life as I did believing the same, ‘because I said so’ story ending the game of WHY. I get no laughter or enjoyment from the double tap and moving on. I’m not any more inspired, I’m only safe.
My parents don’t want what’s best for me. They want me safe. They want me to live my dream as long as . . . as long as my dream doesn’t interrupt their dream for me. They want me making money as security, in a long term relationship, having kids, working for myself, locked into a box with an exit strategy for retirement. They want me living a better life, whatever 'better' is defined as? They want me to do what they did, yet they are not satisfied so why do I want what they have? How is that best for me?
Everyone has dreams.
Some have dreams and live lives.
Some people live dreams.
It requires discomfort up front to enjoy the long term effects of questioning why and following your own path. If I avoid the discomfort up front, the long term pain has a devastating effect. So I put down the phone, the television, the computer, the excuses, the ‘I should’ and the ‘if I only’ and I love my parents but I am not them.
I’m in pain. And because of this pain I know I’m growing.
I know my parents and friends are concerned. I love them for this. We can all laugh about this.
I’m not following a system, I haven’t stopped questioning why even after I have been told ‘because I said so.’ Because they ran out of time and stopped questioning why.
So tell me why is my ego measured in digital likes? Why is oil more important than a child’s life? Why do I have to pay more to eat healthy and buy health insurance from a company that pays the government that supposedly ‘protects’ me? Why does being a man entail blowing things up, having a huge penis, dating a model, and driving a fancy car? Why do I want these things? I don’t want to want to, but these days . . .
I look up to my father, now crippled from being what a ‘man’ is, and I question why? Why was he emotional unavailable, why does he not have anyone close to him? Why does he urge me to follow the same path to being a man that he followed? Why are my dreams less important than living a safe life? What exactly is a safe life? Living a life with calculated results and controlling whatever I can, keeping everyone at a safe distance or locked into a box so that I can have an exit strategy. Sounds Brave New Worldish.
Why is the purpose. This gets at the root of why we are the way we are.
The why needs to be solid. The foundation of what is being built needs to come from a deeply rooted place. When we have a clear why we have a deeper desire to succeed. We have a reason to push past obstacles. We have a reason to try again, and again, and again, and again. We overcome because we are not believing in a thing, attached to something tangible, we have a belief.
Beliefs get at the core of our humanity. They get at the core of ourselves. Why is the reason you exist. Having a clear understanding of your values will help you remain faithful to yourself so that you can better serve others.
Never stop questioning WHY
This week question yourself about ‘the why’ take a look at your parents and how you were at ages 5-9 and your relationships with your siblings, friends, and family. Looking at these connections possibly come up with an idea about why you are the way you are. Are you seeking money as security because maybe that is what your parents valued or didn’t have and you are seeking the same? Are you seeking relationships with emotionally unavailable or underdeveloped people? There IS nothing wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with why you do what you do. NO judgement. There is not a right or a wrong a good or a bad.
This week ask why.