The Joy of Disobedience
You should never be made to think that you have to live according to something or someone. And yet, how many times have you found yourself caught up in what you should do and NOT do, making choices based on what you believe to be right and wrong, and possibly even living your life from a place of fear, obedience, and/or guilt? I think it’s important to step back every once in awhile and ask yourself, “why?” Why am I doing this? Why am I eating (or not eating) that? Why am I reacting this way? Why…?
Sometimes we try so hard to be right, that we tend to forget what life is really about, and what’s really important when it comes down to our health and happiness. We can become rigid and inflexible, which is the antithesis of joy and well-being -- what we are usually trying to achieve in the first place. Just think of any tree — they have to have flexibility in their branches and trunk to survive the winds and harsh weather, and so it is true with you too.
A life of rigid structure, monotony and sluggish regularity, are contrary to nature, to the rhythm of your heart and the blood that pumps through it. As Paungger and Pope say, “Measured doses of disobedience, the occasional vigorous, joyful excess, whole nights spent in convivial company or working hammer and tongs — these are all at least as important for health — and staying healthy — as an ordered daily life. Every organ, every living creature from time to time requires mental and physical stimuli, shocks, so to speak, in order to push forward the limits of its developmental potential, in order to blossom into the wholeness for which it was intended.”
You are meant to live a life of joy, which from time to time may include being naughty, living outside your comfort zone, finding ways to make your heart race…maybe it’s as simple as eating that mouth watering pastry and enjoying every single bite of it, waking up in the morning and watching your favorite movie, deleting a whole day’s worth of emails…The point is to allow for flexibility and “measured doses” of disruption in your life, so that you may actually experience life! No number of strict diets or lifestyle habits is of any use to you if you are — frankly — miserable.
I encourage you to, instead of making decisions based on what is “right or wrong,” take time to listen to your heart and make mindful choices — choices that reflect your uniqueness and individuality. You might be surprised by what you hear, or you might notice you were “right” all along! And treat each day as a new experience…break your own rules, if the moment calls for it.
My hope is that you keep flexibility in your heart and the choices you make, by listening to your inner voice - whether it’s a trouble maker or peace maker - for I assure you it makes for a more joyful AND healthier you, all around!
Calvin and Hobbes illustrated by Bill Watterson.
Paungger and Pope, MoonTime.