the moral code i live by
everybody has their own set of morals, values, and ethics. i write mine down and revisit it every year or so. here’s the latest version of my moral code <3
not only do i revisit my moral code often just to remind myself of what i stand for and what i don’t, but i also turn to it during any difficult time in my life, and it genuinely inspires me to keep going. it often inspires me to go even harder than i was before.
-forgive, but do not forget. this doesn’t mean i should bring things up unnecessarily or weaponize the past. it means that i am willing to be forgiving, but i am not willing to shrug off any harm done to me. what’s done is done and i choose to remember it, but not ruminate over it.
-speaking of forgiving, i don’t say sorry unless i am truly sorry. i cannot be pressured into saying it; i won’t. i also don’t say sorry without acknowledging where i fucked up and what i will do better next time.
-i do not accept apologies unless i truly do accept it. i don’t accept any apology that fails to acknowledge where somebody went wrong and doesn’t involve taking accountability. i don’t accept apologies that are simply an “i’m sorry.” the best apologies, in my opinion, are kind words and changed actions.
-wherever i can be, i try to be kinder. that doesn’t mean i have to be the kindest person in the world, or even in the room, it just means that if i can be kinder and i see an opportunity to do so, i will try to do that. sometimes i could walk into a store and not hold the door open for the people behind me, but if i don’t mind, why wouldn’t i do that? examples like that. i try to be kinder. it feels more true to who i am, anyways.
-it is good karma to not enable bad behavior. it is bad karma to enable bad behavior, aka not saying or doing anything. a lot of people think confrontation, conflict, or any argument/debate is a bad thing. i beg to differ; they can be productive, necessary, and a key element of learning & growing as a person. hence, i think it is bad to feed into bad behavior. bad behavior, injustices, and issues of all kinds deserve to be addressed & discussed thoroughly, no matter how big or daunting. to ignore them would be like silently saying “yeah that’s ok, that’s totally fine to just do a fucked up thing over and over.” nah. that’s bad karma. it’s detrimental to people’s growth, too. it’s like that phrase, if you see something, then say something.
-constructive criticism should always be given & received; sometimes, the people who love us the most will call us out, but that’s a good thing. it doesn’t mean they’re always right or i’m always right, but it means i will genuinely hear people out and, at the very least, consider what they have to say. i hope they extend the same kindness to me when i provide it to them.
-emotions exist to be felt; there is no point in hiding or suppressing them. in fact, that is how they end up destroying your mind, body and soul. it’s important to allow myself to feel what i feel all the way through. i have cried in grocery stores, i have yelled at the sky, i have argued in public, i have done my happy food dance shamelessly in a fancy restaurant, i have danced in the rain, i have flat out told people they are being very mean and it’s very ugly of them. i have no interest in hiding what i’m feeling or who i am. i don’t like playing any kind of mental game. doing this also creates a safe space for others around me to fully be themselves. i would rather hold my friends as they cry in my arms than ever make them feel like they need to pretend to be strong around me. i wear my heart on my sleeve and i am not ashamed of that. it is one of my greatest strengths; to be vulnerable is to be human.
-treat others how you wish to be treated.
-pick your battles; i only have so much to give to others, so i am better off only fighting for the things that are truly worth fighting for. i am not interested in fighting every battle or having to be right all the time. that would be a waste, to me. i’d rather keep my stress to a minimum and focus on the things worth focusing on. sometimes people try to antagonize me, assign labels to me, or try to tell me who i am. i used to always fight with those people, but not anymore. i know who i am. they don’t. end of story.
-the meaning of life is to give your own life meaning. who cares if the meaning changes? life is fluid; do what makes you happiest for each evolution of yourself.
-you are the only person responsible for your happiness. it’s not your parents, your friends, your employees, your lovers, your coworkers, although they all influence your life. you are responsible for all of your emotions and how you handle them.
-you are not defined by your thoughts; some thoughts are useless and many of them aren’t even yours. it’s important to have a filter so you know what to do with each thought and which ones to let go of completely. some shit really isn’t that deep.
-don’t let technology rule your emotions. if you are consistently triggered or angry, you need to step back and re-evaluate what you are consuming and your relationship with technology. you own the phone, the phone doesn’t own you.
-happiness is a mindset, not a destination. if you think it is a destination, you have already failed.
-do not half ass love. love, more than any other emotion, in my opinion, is meant to be felt to the absolute fullest. say i love you when you feel it. don’t wait for the “right moment.” say it because you feel it and you mean it. say it as often as you want. do not bother worrying about if you love somebody more or less than they do to you, it is useless. love is not a game to be played. love is meant to be shamelessly experienced to the fullest. love is probably the strongest emotion there is.
-love over money, over materials, over everything. by love, i mean all kinds. love for myself, love for my friends, love for my family, love for my lovers, love for my animals, love for my hobbies, love for my life. love over everything. full stop.
-do whatever the fuck you want, as much as you possibly can. if you are not physically harming (or abusing) anybody, or contributing to the oppression of others, you are fine. do whatever you want. it’s the best way to live life. it doesn’t mean forget about other people in your life; it just means that you and your happiness come first.
-follow your heart & your intuition. never second guess it. i have studied a ton, read many books, listened to many podcasts, had many mentors. at the end of the day, my best choices happen when i balance my head & my heart. if i am stuck between both, i will always follow my heart. it knows things i don’t; it sees things i cannot see. it has saved me more times than i can even count. physically & mentally. i used to drive with my car seat super close to my steering wheel, dangerously close. i did this for 3 years and never moved. one random day, i got the feeling i should move it back, and by a lot. so i did. i didn’t second guess it. that was the same day i got into my first car accident and the most life-threatening one by far. my life flashed before my eyes, my airbags went off, two cars were totaled, and i walked away totally fine. that day could’ve gone very differently, if i never moved my seat back, if i never listened to my gut.
-fear is great; panicking is not. fear means you have stepped outside of your comfort zone and into your growth zone, the zone where you will push your limits and do the most growing, and any growing at all, really. to be scared means you see that you have something to lose, but something to gain as well. life is meant to be lived. if you’re scared, but you’re not panicking, go ahead and do the damn thing. i think we’d all rather try things and be happy than always wonder what it would be like if we didn’t. what a miserable way to live.
-lying is sometimes necessary, but generally, the truth will set you free. i tell the truth as much as i can, even when it is embarrassing or shameful. i would rather do that and face reality than create a narrative in my head and become delusional.
-and finally, there will never be a “perfect time.” there will never be the “perfect moment” to do something. you genuinely just have to fucking do it. there might be better moments, or more calculated moments, but sitting around and waiting for something perfect will probably waste more of your time than ever be worth it. if you have to keep telling yourself that you’re just “waiting for the right time” to do virtually anything, maybe the better thing to do is to confront the fear that is really holding you back, because i doubt it is truly the timing. almost nothing needs to be timed perfectly; it just needs to get done. so do it.
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I love “happiness is a mindset, not a destination. if you think it is a destination, you have already failed.”