There are six words that make my blood boil whenever I hear them. Those six words are: “That’s just the way it is.” Those words signify to me resignation, acceptance, powerlessness over the way things are in our society, our world, our personal lives. They reek of a militant, “march, march, march,” chant, inciting us to all be the same, to get in line and do as we are told by “them.” Those six words ooze the frequency of “I can’t change it, so I have to accept it,” about circumstances that control our lives or make us feel hostage to them. Those six words are prelude to a feeling of imprisonment and victimhood. And they become an excuse for why we don’t take action in our lives to make things the way we want them to be, rather than the way they are currently, collectively. They become the excuse for why we are not living true to ourselves.
What I want to know is who says that’s just the way it is, is the way it has to be? In my world, those six words are a call to action, a call to rebellion, a call, literally, to friends to vent about how angry it makes me that we just tend to settle for and accept what’s put before us in society as the norm, what’s popular, what’s happening du jour. And almost always they are a call for me to move in the direction 180 degrees of whatever that thing is.
Let’s take the example of the media and its effect/control over our lives here in the West, and literally all over the world, but we’ve got it the worst here, I believe. We absorb what’s put before us as the way it is, but why don’t we question it and ask that question: who says it has to be that way? If we stop and ask ourselves this question every step of the way, we become more independent, free-thinking people (yes, subversive to those who want us to stay in THEIR box), people who make choices based on having considered what’s right for you personally, for your family, for your health. There’s almost no area of our lives that the media doesn’t touch/manipulate with its multi-armed monsters. There’s TV, Internet, music, ads, magazines, radio, mainstream health information, especially as it relates to women’s health and prescription drugs. We are bombarded with signals via all our senses, inviting us to get on the train bound for the destination known as mediocrity.
So ask yourself, do you really want to live a life proscribed by the dictates of others, no matter what their form takes? Do you daily stop and ask yourself if what you are about to purchase/do/experience is something you REALLY choose, or is it just part of life’s treadmill that you’ve become accustomed to? How would your life look if you turned off all the input from the outside and simply LISTENED to the output from within?
We are marching through our lives like automatons, being fed a modicum of metaphoric “foods” to keep us from feeling starvation, but our souls are so malnourished for that which would bring us true joy, vitality, connection to ourselves and others, a sense of purpose and peace. What lives inside you that is TRUE to who you are regardless of whether society, or your family, or your friends, or your boss, or the whole damned world would find it acceptable? Where are you compromising self to sustain the facade of being accepted by others?
When we are willing to simply question things, hell, EVERYTHING, our lives become ours again. We reclaim them and begin the journey back to self. So the next time you hear those six words, challenge the idea that it’s being said about. And if you hear yourself saying them, then challenge yourself. The only way it has to be is the way YOU choose it to be.
love & blessings,