One of the most powerful things that I have learned in this journey that I have been on, is that I am in control of only one thing, my self.
This sounds kind of obvious and almost defeatist, but its not. In fact it is incredibly liberating.
People do what they do and some people can really get under our skins. Those who are closest to us can naturally have the biggest impact on us and this causes us to question whether or not they love us. If they don’t love us, why don’t they? What is wrong with us?
We can make ourselves absolutely miserable trying to please them, trying to win their love, because they matter to us. Or we can try to change them, to stop them from hurting us, because we love them so much and they make it hard for us to do so.
We can only control ourselves, and we shouldn’t expect them to change just to suit us, any more than we would be willing to change for them. All we can do is take control of and responsibility for how we react to them.
If someone criticises the way that we live our lives and needs to tell us that we ought to live our lives more like them we need to stop and think: if that’s how they live their life, how do they know what it is like to life like I do?
How would someone who has lived their life in a completely tidy and orderly fashion know what it is like to live in a slightly chaotic less regimented manner?
How would they know about the creative stimulation that can come from a little bit of mess? How would they know what it is to not be stressed all the time about how clean everything needs to be around them?
If they haven’t lived life the way that you live it, how could they possibly know that their way is the best way to live?
Quite simply, that can’t possibly know and therefore they cannot be in a position whereby they can judge you for the way that you live your life and unless you have lived your live like them, neither can you judge them.
In fact in most cases when someone feels compelled to make comment about us or our lives, it is them comparing themselves with us. They are actually questioning and evaluating their own life and values, not ours. They are wondering whether your way of life may be better, less stressful or more fun than theirs. But it is difficult for anyone to accept any criticism of the values by which they live, so they will instead look to criticise yours, to make them feel better about themselves.
All you can do is control the way you react to them and their expectations. In this case its best to understand that they are welcome to their opinions and they can express them as much as they like, but ultimately it means nothing.
What really matters, is what matters to you.
Thank them for caring enough to share their opinions with you and carry living your life the way that you want to live it.