Have We Been Living An April's Fool Since Childhood?

Everyday is April Fools' Day...it doesn't only occur on April 1st. Many of us are living daily the greatest April's fool of all... and we are it!

We have been living our lives as a lie, pretending to be someone we're not. That is a powerful statement, yet, in many cases it is the truth. We are living our lives as if they belonged to someone or something else.

Are we are doing what we were pushed into, manipulated into, cajoled into, or simply encouraged into? Do we dress the way someone else wants us to? Are we working in a job or career that someone else chose for us, or that we thought we "should" choose? Are we married to someone, or to a job, based on their fulfilling certain "requirements" for our security?

It's Not My Fault

Reflecting on our upbringing, we may feel that we were helpless. You may say, "It's not my fault. I simply did what my parents, teachers, friends, etc. told me was best for me." Did we allow someone else to make all the decisions for us, and ours was not to question why?

Rather than go into a long debate about the past, let us instead look at our lives right now. Do we still do things because others expect it of us? Do we dress in certain ways to please husbands, wives, friends, employers, customers, etc. Do we follow a particular career path or job, even if we are not happy there, because we think we don't have a choice. Well... We do have a choice and we always have had one... we simply did not realize it!

Know Thyself

Perhaps now is the time to sit down with yourself, and really delve into the realms of your sub-conscious desires. What do you really want out of life? Where do you want to be? Whom do you want to be with? What do you want to be doing? Are you working at a job you enjoy? Are you living where you would 'if' you had the choice? Are you sharing your time with people you love? Are you choosing do to things that fulfill your needs and desires? Or are you doing what you think you have to or 'should' do?

innerself subscribe graphic

Whenever our motivation is a 'should', our actions do not stem from our preference. We are acting out of obligation either towards parents, society, or our own expectations. The crazy thing is that we may think we don't have a choice, when even that thought is a choice.

Have we trapped ourselves in a cage of our own construction? And, most of all, are the bars of that cage an illusion?

We're Not Caught In A Trap. We Can Walk Out!

There is no law, religious or otherwise, that states that humans must be miserable. Contrary to what some religions have taught for centuries, it is not necessary to suffer in order to get into heaven. Surprise! Heaven is accessible to us right here and now if we only step out of our self-made prison and free ourselves. Heaven resides in our choices and our attitudes.

We can create heaven on earth in our day to day experience simply by reclaiming our right to making our own choices for our well-being and happiness. It can be done slowly, little by little, if the shock of rediscovering total freedom of choice is too much to handle.

One Step At A Time

Start with little things -- follow your intuition, your inner voice, with 'insignificant' events like what to wear that day, or what foods to eat that day, or deciding what to do with your spare time. There is no rule that declares you must go out and constantly be doing things, or eat what some "expert" tells you to eat, or wear what "others" have decided is in fashion this year.

Listen to your inner voice. What is your true desire? Maybe for you, puttering around the house fulfills a need to be alone and creative. Or maybe, going out to celebrate life with friends is what you need. Maybe you need to wear red that day, even if it doesn't match your complexion. For example, I grew up being told by my sibling that I looked awful in red... only to discover, that I love wearing red and it works fine for me. So, all those years I listened to someone else's opinion, depriving myself of the pleasure of wearing a color that energizes me.

We need to listen to our own self and stop listening to others. What is best for others is not necessarily best for you or for me. We each have our own path to follow. It is time for us to follow the beat of our own drummer, not someone else's.

Don't play an April Fools' on yourself. Love yourself enough to let yourself be free to be who you really are. Let your light shine bright within yourself and see where it leads you.

Related Book:

A Way Out of the Trap: A Ten-Step Program for Spiritual Growth
by Nathan Rutstein.

An easy-to-follow guide for people of all faiths who want to live more fulfilling lives. A practical guide to understanding the purpose of life and how to live it.

Info/Order book. Also available as a Kindle edition.

About The Author

Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.

Creative Commons 3.0: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License. Attribute the author: Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article: This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com