please yourself

28 the scream

You have to please yourself first.

This requires a little explanation.

We cannot live our lives according to how others think we should – some get it, others don’t.  John O’Donohue helpfully shares: ‘The heart of the matter is, you should never belong fully to something that is outside yourself.’

If we belong fully to something or someone else, we are dependent on others for our sense of wellbeing and fulfilment, requiring constant reinforcement and feedback.

When we belong to ourselves, though, we know what it is we must do, sometimes despite what others think and do.

Here’s the thing: to arrive at this place of belonging to ourselves we must appreciate others and what they bring, and desire to live our lives generously towards them – I know what you want and I know what I want and now we can be creative.  (If I don’t know what I want I can’t be creative.  If I only know that I don’t want what you want, I can’t be creative.)

Nothing is guaranteed, however.  Maybe nothing will happen when people try to collaborate, and that’s okay when we belong to ourselves first.

And sometimes what others want for us can help frame more of what it is we must do.  Austin Kleon mischievously suggests, ‘Sometimes when people hate something about your work, it’s fun to push that element even further.  To make something they’d hate even more.  Having your work hated by certain people is a badge of honour.’

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