Should You Settle?

A childhood friend and I were talking last night about life decisions, particularly the idea of settling. Giving up something in order to get something else or staying in a relationship and giving up a lot of your dreams, wants and desires because you have convinced yourself that it’s “the one”. I couldn’t stop thinking about it when I returned from our dinner. Should we settle? Why are we settling? Who told us that this is what we must do in order to have even a sliver of happiness? Are the settlers happy? I have never met anyone who is currently nesting in the ‘settlers’ life who is truly happy. Sure, I understand that there will be moments in life when you have to put certain things on hold in order to accomplish what needs to be done. Maybe you have to give up a few years of being social because you’re in school and working and need to be focused. It could be that you’re putting off marriage because you want to travel, see the world or career is your number one focus. With any goal, you will notice that there’s always something that needs to be let’s say put on a shelf for a little while in order to focus on your current goal. We can eventually have it all but we can’t do it all, even if you think you’re superman or superwoman you can’t do everything at the same time. You can do many things, just not everything.

 

In The Name Of Love 

My friend was telling me about a past relationship. She wanted something in particular and he didn’t necessarily want the same thing. She decided not to settle and has been happy ever since. I am using relationships as an example but this can apply to other aspects of your life, even friendships. Relationships seem like the place where we become the ultimate settlers. For some reason, we wrap up happiness and being with someone as the ultimate goal. Even if it means we give up important parts of ourselves, our hopes, our dreams, self-worth…all in the name of the other, our lover. We become aimless, crazed and at times unrecognizable. I want to know….do we have to settle? If so, how are we getting what we want out of life if we are settling? I don’t see any true long-term happiness in this and I am starting to wonder why we’ve all been programmed to think this way. If we are all put on this earth to fulfill a purpose and live the best life ever. Fill our hearts with love, laughter and joy then how does settling fit into this? As I mentioned above, I have never met someone who is living a life that is the ‘settling’ ideal, that’s blissfully happy. Have you? Are you settling? Please tell me…are you blissfully happy? It doesn’t matter how much you love someone or how much they love you if it involves a whole lot of giving up something in order to keep this person in your life. If it involves changing who you are and re-shifting who you are and dwelling in a space that makes them and only them content, I see no happiness in this. You have settled into their life, their space and dreams and you’ve forgotten yourself. This isn’t happiness. When the love mist dissipates you will be met by a large flume of unhappiness, asking yourself…why am I so unhappy? Well, it’s because you have settled. We have all done this at some point in our lives. We always do this when ‘in love’ but we also do this in other areas. Is it true love? Is true love for those who settle? I don’t think so.


 

Career Driven 

For you, maybe it’s your career path. Maybe you think that money is the answer to eternal happiness. I would be lying if I said money doesn’t make the world go round, money doesn’t make your world go round. Money can cause a lot of issues, sure, but it’s also a resource if used well can help you in great ways. I will not promote the idea that you should just say forget it, why work, why make money, who cares….unless this is what you essentially want. Some people seek simplicity and find fulfillment in this. Their purpose requires that they have less so they can do more. At the same token, you don’t have to subscribe to this lifestyle choice if it’s not what you feel is best for you. You can still be an empowered and enlightened human being who lives a life that’s filled with grandeur and some the finer things in life. Enlightenment can happen anywhere, being a good person, this is about you. Life’s setting won’t change what’s within you unless you continuously work on this.  Whether you’re ambitious and like good things or whether you prefer simplicity and exploration. You can also be the simple explorer who appreciates good things (relatively speaking) and the fire that motivates you to work hard is so that you can maintain this lifestyle. You’re settling when you think that your current state is what you must do because of what society thinks or maybe what some movement you relate to on some levels ascribes to. Maybe the whole movement doesn’t suit you, just parts of it? Take from it what you will but don’t let it take your mind and the way you want to live your life. Don’t settle into an ideal that doesn’t totally suit you. If this is your job, amazing money, but you are completely rundown, not really that happy, just there existing…..hoping for a promotion are you? Hoping for more because you deserve more? Then what are you actively doing to make it happen? Don’t settle in the comfort of hope. Hope is a good thing, but hope also requires movement. Just stop making excuses, you’re lying to yourself no one else cares but you should.

 

Don’t Lie To Yourself 

There are so many areas in your life where you may settle. Just know that you can only lie to yourself for so long. What we think we are hiding from ourselves and others will slowly find a way to come to light. Your health is connected to your state of mind. The back and forth battle you are having with yourself will eventually bring to the surface unexplained symptoms that even you can’t explain. Sometimes the source is flashing right in front of you and getting back to balance, where you should be will require you to get honest with yourself. Your health is your wealth and it’s incredible how your thoughts and negative feelings can slowly break down your body until you really listen. Living a life that’s wrought with a whole lot of settling, or “I am doing this because”… “I love him/her so I am doing this”…”I am working like this because”… Sure, no pain no gain, sometimes it’s going to be a little hard. Everyone, at some point, will have to set something or someone aside, timing is a factor. Just make sure whatever you are setting aside doesn’t become something you are giving up on because you feel the need to achieve just one thing or keep that someone. Make sure you’re not giving up on walking your life’s purpose whatever that may be. Further, don’t wrap your purpose up in someone. We are all here to be here for one another, help each other,nourish each other, give love to each other but we should never mistake our need for love and companionship as the only place or space we need to reside in this life. I talked about the importance of embracing loneliness. I feel that when we spend time with ourselves, where we confront ourselves, our true selves and find happiness within this ‘lone’ state. We find a greater sense of purpose and happiness when you are in the company of others. The love that you seek within must be found within you so it can manifest itself with other beings and through other beings. The joy of life, the joy of living must start with you where you are. If you are going to settle, then settle on this notion. If you are going to settle then settle within your own space, it’s here where you will find the real you, however, long that may take.

I want you to be happy. Hell, I want to be happy. I know that settling won’t get me there, so I don’t. I know that certain goals require putting aside other future goals, just for now, but I haven’t given up on the bigger picture; I will not. There’s no one in this world that will love you (other than your family…fine) more than you. If you want to know what it’s like to be treated well, truly loved, then you better get started. The way you treat yourself will dictate how everyone else does. The settling in life chain reaction starts with you and it will make its’ way into every aspect of your life. Strive to be the best you and never apologize for it. Strive to love yourself unapologetically and you will never accept anyone who loves our halfheartedly. Tell yourself you will never accept mediocre because you are not mediocre.

 

 

Cover Image Courtesy: Tim Wright

 

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Hanifa Sekandi

Founder & Editor-in-Chief Follow Me on Instagram @thethingsiwishiknew

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