“Pronoia” While not a word I would use in everyday conversation, pronoia is a cute little jig that caught my attention. It is defined as the opposite of paranoia, (the delusion that someone or something is conspiring against oneself), as the belief that the world around them conspires to do them good. Doesn't sound like an affliction but rather an aspiration if you ask me.
How many of us have been sucked into the grind of our bland daily existence of a routine dictated by our obligations (banks, mortgagors, employers, in-laws, children) with a sense of near paranoia that if you do not put on that suit, make that commute to your job to pay for your many obligations that your world may just implode on you?! With the pressure we all face every day to make ends meet, please our employers, please our spouses, provide for our families, eat organic, juggle schedules, dentist appointments, recitals and on and on and on (oh, and we are supposed to look good while doing it), it is easy to develop an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy, depression, and well, paranoia.
How quickly we lose sight of the lofty dreams we once had of living happily ever after when it feels as though our lives are teetering on a delicate balance of frantic, organized chaos, and well, sleep. So isn't it a fabulous thought that the Universe could be conspiring to do us good? Well it is, if we let it…
“Bliss” aka perfect happiness. It is that feeling of enjoyment; guilt free, stopping to smell the roses, glee.
Yes, for many of us, this is much easier said than done. But why? We show up for PTA, for your best friends’ uncle’s benefit, your soon-to-be niece in-law’s bridal shower, your boss’s golf tourney, you give your neighbor rides for two weeks while his vehicle undergoes repairs from the deer that impaled the grill, hood, and both fenders… So why then is it so hard to show up for ourselves?
Because, we are doers, we are pleasers, we are codependent, we were raised by a generation that endured the depression, we don’t have time, it would be selfish, everyone else is more important, etc. etc. We could make up excuses all day. Maybe we don’t feel worthy of taking care of our needs, we have low self-esteem, we are overly sensitive to the opinions of others (even though its none of our business). If that isn't enough we beat ourselves up about what we didn't do right yesterday, and last year and what happened in 10th grade. Why are we so hard on ourselves and why are we muddling up what we are doing today with what we did or didn't do a decade ago?
Because we want to do better, be better, smell better, look better and hopefully feel better than we do right now. We are all aspiring for something greater than just getting by, and pretending we are happy living up to someone else’s expectations of us. We are looking for the bigger meaning of life, our purpose here on this earth. We want to express ourselves without offending too many people, we want to set a good example for our children, we want to leave behind something authentic and genuine. At the end of the day we want to feel content that we did the best we could and tomorrow we are going to wake up and do it even better.
That is where the bliss comes in, and that is where you will find your pronoia and probably your purpose. So find it, look for it, do it every day, that thing that floats your boat, that makes you forget about your crooked nose, how many gray hairs are popping up in your beard, the snarky remark your mother-in-law made to you last Thanksgiving. Let it go and indulge in looking out for #1 once in awhile. Do that thing you want to do that nags at you while you are doing what you are supposed to do; take a nap, bust out your pistol and do some target practice, rent a dun buggy and tear it up, say “no” if you want to, just do YOU every once in awhile. If its hard at first it will get easier, no one is going to do it for you. And it may surprise you. Your boss will thank you, your spouse and kids will thank you and the Universe will reward you by giving you more opportunities to just be you.
To take it home I have to share with you one of my favorite quotes from Lisa Nichols, “I would rather you all live a life asking for forgiveness than asking for permission.”
If that doesn't make you think huh? How many of us are asking for permission?