Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
Want somebody to follow? “Leaders” are all over the place. We have people who are anxious to tell us how to do EVERYTHING in life—even how to die. We live in a time when all sorts of people feel empowered to control. Some have legitimate information to share. Some are plain old bullies.
I’m stubborn and independent. I’m very careful about what I accept. I know true artists learn the rules and then break them in a very purposeful manner. I know true thinkers read and study like crazy and then make up their own minds—which they’re also willing to change when they discover new information. I know true leaders are always smeared and hated, but they forge ahead to get the job done.
Speaking for me, I’ve had people try to teach me to paint-by-number all my life. I followed directions faithfully for many years. But being a follower should be a difficult task, because you should have to examine each instruction you receive. Is it the best idea available? Unfortunately, many followers act like life is an action flick. They follow whomever sounds exciting and swoon over pretty words that make them feel noble or righteous. Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead! They don’t investigate where the idea might lead and whether they will want to be there. One day I woke up to discover I had followed directions perfectly and lost what was valuable about my unique self. I hadn’t written anything someone else couldn’t have authored.
Now I’m a wet noodle follower. You can’t push me. Occasionally you can pull me if I think we’re going in a good direction. A friend recently dubbed me The Door Opener, because—after years of playing a teacher who has THE ANSWERS—I now refuse to tell anybody else what to do. I have no need to control anyone but me. You have to live with the consequences of your choices, so they should be your choices. However, I think we all need door openers. We need people who shine a light on the darkness beyond doors we may not have even known were there. We need people who show us options and mirrors where we can look at ourselves and our lives.
And so, that is my quest—to open doors. Whether you or anyone else walks through is your business. If you want to squeeze your eyes closed and not look beyond where you are now, that’s up to you. Personally, I’m discovering I was standing in front of several closed doors for years. Maybe I wasn’t ready to know there was more out there. I didn’t want to know which traditions I had embraced without question. To be fair, like many people, I was trapped by my needs for income, belonging, and so-called security. Now I’m ready. I want to see what other paths exist for me. I’ve discovered that I command more love and respect as my unique stubborn self than I did as an obedient follower. I’m bare-butt real at last. I may venture through one of my doors. Want to come? Your doors await!