Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Do the Right Thing: Breaking up with Obligation

Obligation:  the often-cloaked "right thing" draped in sheep's deceptive clothing.

When faced with making choices, some of us hunker down in that airtight space of doing what is culturally and socially acceptable.

A hermetic, claustrophobic existence that allows everyone around you to breathe.

Except you.

Outside of the "right thing" chrysalis lives the sweet oxygen that you deny yourself:  the right thing for you.

Sound familiar?

Don't say anything about how you're feeling.  You don't want to make a scene.

Just be quiet when *that relative* backhands you with a stinging remark. It will only upset her.  She's fragile, you know.

Don't talk about what happened. Some things are better left unsaid. 

Always put everyone else's needs first.  After all, that is what a good woman should do.

Imagine how disappointed everyone will be.

I sometimes imagine what the "unsaids" and "undones" would look like.  Would the many faces of these unspewed truths be disfigured and repulsive?

Or does its poison swim in a boundless loop throughout our veins?

How many of us have made misguided decisions in the shadows of other's expectations--whether it is a strained marriage, a dispiriting career trajectory or bottlenecked hostility?

Simply put, those dangerous "unsaids" and "undones" have nowhere to go but to remain trapped inside of us-- resulting in a toxic souffl√© of resentment and anxiety.

It was the downright suffocation that finally compelled my hole-poking under that lid.

One whiff of that new, exhilarating air and the question instantly crystallized:   Why should we feel strong-armed into doing those "right things" that smother the very essence of who we are?

It's never too late to exhale a lifetime of distress from obligation's suspended, bluish breath.

Sometimes that means raising hell and not caring about what everyone else thinks.
Or ruffling the pruned feathers of the self-righteous.
Or tweezing a deep-rooted, painful truth.
Or surrendering a long-term relationship.
Or saying no. And meaning it.

What's certain is this:  we only get one go-around. One.

What's up to us is this:  do we choose to live honestly and authentically for ourselves--or under the steel curtain of everyone's else's "right thing?" Or do we march to our own drum beats and dance to the rhythm of our own awakenings?

The Right Thing:  Gorgeous  "Kadyn" Pump by Dolce Vita.
When we do what is truly right for us, the tightly-woven fabric of our misguided self-perceptions ultimately begin to unravel into something more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.

When we honor the core of our true selves, we allow that sweet note to rise above the static.
And we allow ourselves to breathe.
And to live.

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