I don’t have an obligation to make sense to everyone. A sentence worth repeating: I don’t have an obligation to make sense to everyone. Intellectually I have known this for a long time. Of course this is not my obligation, to make sense to everyone. It is also not even humanly possible I think because we people are so different (even though I believe that in our core we are very similar). So why am I still often trying to make people understand me?
A lot of things pop into my head when trying to answer this question. It’s about wanting to belong and being loved. But to be honest also about my ego who really likes to be perceived a certain way by other people. I like people to think I’m kind, honest, compassionate and well yes also: normal. Especially in Sweden I feel it’s a big thing to not be perceived as too of anything. Too loud, too different, too weird, etc. The swedish language even has invented a word for this: lagom. Not too much, not too little. Just right, in the middle. Comfy, safe and non-threatening (and then we can all collectively fall asleep).
Excuse my language but I believe this f*cks us up so much! Because where is the life in that? Recently I have caught myself engaging in a kind of censoring behaviour when talking about myself. I have started a business consultancy assignment and when asked to talk about myself and my life in front of a group of new people I found myself not sharing about my love for meditation. While meditation is such a huge and important part of my life!? Afterwards I gave myself a hard time about this: why didn’t I just share this about myself? The answer is because I was afraid of being perceived as weird and perhaps in some people’s eyes not professional. I also met a very special woman at my new workplace who touched me deeply by sharing about herself and her life. I really felt like giving her a hug one morning in the office but I didn’t do that because of similar reasons. I have written about this before in my post About the world of LinkedIn ; the world of business and the many unwritten rules of it. Still today I sometimes find it difficult to navigate.
I feel like a bit of a fraud. Because you might remember that exactly this is what I started off writing about: my longing for living my truth. It’s the freakin’ name of my blog for crying out loud?! So I feel it’s worth repeating again, not only for me but for anyone:
It’s not our obligation to make sense to everyone.
I don’t make sense to everyone. Here is a list of things that I think some people have a hard time understanding about me:
- Why on earth I choose to share my thoughts and feelings so openly on the internet (to be honest a question I still ask myself sometimes too)
- What’s up with my love for process industries, walking around in industrial environments and truly feeling it’s better than any amusement park (I walked around inside a power plant the other day and couldn’t get a smile off my face)
- Why I twice in my life chose to quit a well-paid job without having a new one to go to (true story: one person even was so horrified that she cried out But you have to pay your pension! when I told her I was quitting my job and moving to Spain)
- Why I let my teenagers sit in front of their computer as much and as long as they want (major controversial thing in today’s society!)
- Why I was so happy for my husband when he decided to travel to the US and participate in the Burning Man festival (people told me: there’s sex! there’s drugs! and you won’t be there!)
- I can go on….
I want to live my life making sense to myself. To feel what’s true for me and live according to that. And then trust that I will be surrounded with people for whom this resonates!
A big challenge for me at this moment is accepting that a scarily large number of swedish people apparently feel that the political party Sverigedemokraterna is making sense. So much sense even that they would give this party their vote. It terrifies me. Because in the end, isn’t there some form of line that just isn’t acceptable to cross? Like a baseline for where we all can agree that certain things make sense? But then I look over to the US and realize that there is a huge gap between my line and other people’s lines. I am wrecking my brain about what I can do about this besides casting my vote in the upcoming swedish election but so far unfortunately I haven’t come up with anything.
Interesting that I sat down with the intention of writing about energy and how it’s a challenge for me to fill myself with energy in the same amount that I spend energy right now. The contrast between living in Spain and working full time on the wrong side of town (commute-wise) is huge so my whole being is trying to adjust and process. But what came instead were words about making sense. I wonder: where does that come from? My answer: a space inside me from where I feel a deep longing to share. And when I think about it like that, it makes 100% sense to me.
Photo: part of a painting by my sister Abhi ♥ Besides it being beautiful in my eyes, this piece of art also somehow makes sense to me in a way I can’t explain with words.