Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Whose Rules Are You Living By?

I am trying something new for the next few posts. I’ll write a little story (an exercise in creativity) and ask a few questions that might help loosen up some old stuck beliefs (hopefully). I hope you enjoy the stories and uncover stuff that helps you move forward!

He walked with a skip in his steps, lighter on his feet than he had ever felt. He walked into the local bar and sat on a stool sipping on his beer. The world around him didn’t exist. He had just left the hospital after signing the papers that relieved the hospital from all responsibility regarding the death of his father. He was actually dead. Alex couldn’t believe that the old man was finally gone. Even though, he was bent over and skinny with age and disease, he was still a tough and scary person, the way he remembered him growing up. Alex’s childhood was spent trying to please his father and hoping to not be criticized or beaten up because of something he had done or not done. His childhood had driven him to become a super achiever, a great student, and later on a successful doctor. His father was a bigot and prejudiced against people of other cultures, religions or color. Alex married a young woman from the town nearby, someone his father approved of. He loved her despite his inability to express his love or be affectionate. They ended up having 3 kids. He liked being a father and a husband. He wanted to be different from his father, yet at times he found himself cold and unable to feel any emotions. He was logical and cold towards his family.

Sometime in their marriage he met someone else, someone he fell in love with. She was not from the same town, country, religion, or race. She stirred emotions in him he did not recognize. She was impetuous, different, and made heart based decisions. Even if he had left his wife for her, it would have been difficult unless he disowned his family and his father. Alex chose to stay with his wife and not pursue this other woman. He felt dead inside, all of his decisions were based on not rocking the boat, not acting like his father, not hurting anyone. Alex had accepted his role as the peacemaker at all cost. And what was the cost?

He forgot what it was that he wanted for himself. His decisions were not based on self-fulfillment. He was always in control of his emotions. He never yelled or showed hostility, but he never cried or showed love either. Alex controlled everything. He realized he was gripping the beer glass tightly. He eased up, leaned back and smiled. It was time to live a different life. He was done living by his father’s rules, he was done living by any rules. He was free now, free to find out what it was that he truly wanted. What did his heart desire? It was safe to feel again.

Questions to ponder:
1) What are the rules you are living by? Are they yours?
2) Where do you feel locked up or unsafe?
3) What would it feel like if you broke some of the rules you live by?


As Ahmad said...

simple story, yet a huge meaning inside it.. i start wondering the reason behind my unhappy part of life is because i try to be someone that others want me to be.. but then, "Whose Rules Am I SHOULD Living By?" It's like a kick-start question for me to start thinking about how should i be alive in my life.. thank you sherry.. i like this new style of wrirting ^^

Sherry Bakhtian said...

Dear Asma,

I am glad you like it. And yes, we all are living by rules of others whether they be our parents rules or other invisible rules of society. Once you stop and realize that, it is overwhelming, because you do have the choice to change things, if you dare.


In the Light of the Moon said...

I have to say,I felt really sad for the man in the story...knowing full well it was made up,yet understanding deep inside that there are many who feel trapped.Like my mother..trapped in a marriage in which she has conviently forgotten, that the man she has been married to for over 50 years, has controled every aspect of her life. She complained for years..and we(my siblings and I)would always give her a way out and yet she never took it.Fear perhaps..I just know that we all tried our best to not "grow up" and "marry" into the same situation..and still today,I'm happily married,to a man that expects nothing,and yet,every now and then my mother comes out in me,the need to please clouds my thinking..Sometimes I think..its underneath my layers,I cant get rid of it.They are almost unspoken rules that control my actions.My "unsafe place"..
I have to is in the dark,that we appreciate the light and learn to see with new eyes.
Blessings Sherry,and thankyou for letting me write and babble on and on.
Warmest Regards,Cat

Sherry Bakhtian said...

Dear Cat,

I'm trying something new that I'd like to invite you to try also. I am practicing a new concept: the past never happened. If it never happened, there is nothing left to process, let go of, analyze, etc. And the truth and our stories change and may or may not have been exactly as we remember them anyway. So why believe that they ever happened? There is a liberation when you think about it that way.

Thank you for sharing your innermost experiences, I appreciate your raw honesty. And please feel free to share anytime!


Gabriela Abalo said...

I rule my life, whether I decide to do it by following others ideologies and beliefs or by following my very own, the ultimate responsible is still me.
None can force us to follow their rules, we always have a choice. We can choose in conciseness or in unconsciousness but nonetheless we are still the ones choosing.

I really like your new style – a story and questions that invite the readers to reflect on themselves. Good job!