Emotional Wellbeing



Mandy Kloppers

The rules we live by



Rules for living

Last week during my drive home from my day at University, a new perspective on how we look at life came to me. The idea emerged from a relatively simple event. I was watching the car in front of me and saw how the car wiggled and rose over a bump in the road. Further along there was dip in the road and the car in front of me lowered itself slightly before continuing on. Of course my car was subjected to the same manoeuvres as the car in front of me. It reminded me that we are all experiencing the effects of the physical laws around us. We will all feel that same bump in the road as we drive over it.

Some parts of life however are much less clear-cut. When there are many ways to look at something they will inevitably be many different versions of that same event. For example if someone does not greet us when we treat them, we may come to the conclusion that they are having a bad day. But that may be only one of the possible reasons for their behaviour. Could it be that I have done something to upset them? Or could it be that they just did not hear me greet them? There are so many grey areas when it comes to interpretation of life but there is a positive side to this.

There are many instances in life where we can choose what we wish to believe about something. I have learned that a happier, calmer life involves choosing the most positive option from the thoughts that emerge. Unless someone has clearly given me concrete evidence as to their thoughts or intentions, I’d take it upon myself to select the thoughts that protect me and keep me feeling happy.

Some may say that doing this detaches you from reality but I do not agree. Reality is made up of many different versions. That is why we have so many versions of the truth and it is also why there are so many “grey” areas in life.

Take a look at the rules that you have chosen to live by. Ask yourself whether these rules enhance your life or hinder your options. When you really think about it you will find that you have a lot more freedom to choose the rules you want in your life. Good roles involve self-preservation, healthy boundaries and protecting your sense of self. Rules that are foisted upon you by significant others and society in general should regularly be assessed. You do not have to live a life in chains. The only rules/laws that we all have to abide by the physical ones.

Mandy X

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