06/03/2014 08:16 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The 'Rules' I Choose to Live By


As my years are folding one into the other, I have come to the immutable fact that there really are no outside "rules" in life that really work. They are dictated and designed by someone else. So they reside exterior to my own soul. I must come to my own set of inner principles to guide my thoughts and my behaviors.

These are the "rules" I choose to live by -- at least for today.

Don't take myself too seriously. Don't take you too seriously, either. Living is a heart-explosion game at best and a painful confusion at worst. We are all in the midst of changing and becoming at all times. To keep a sense of humor and a lightness of soul is terribly important.

Stay where my feet are. This means I stay in the present, in this precise moment in time. For it is only in the place where I am standing that life can happen. If my head is tearing into the future or my heart is broken over the past, I am missing what is happening right in front of me.

Be honest with myself. I must claim my truth -- what is going on with me -- at all times. I must look clear-eyed and ruthlessly at the how and the why of my behavior. I shall tell you the truth I see about you only where it is important for our relationship or your safety. Otherwise, it really isn't any of my business.

Claim my mistakes. Yup! I screwed up. What can I learn from this muck-up? Let me apologize and make things right, if I can. Then it's time to stop beating myself up. Mistakes are the building blocks of wisdom. By acknowledging my humanity, I can change my behavior. By denying it, I continue in the fault.

Know that compassion is love in action. "Love" is a great word, but the working side of it is to have understanding and empathy for others. I must let go of the leash of my anger and hurt feelings, because I am not that important and our shared humanity is.

Be open of hand and wide of heart. Living is a "we" deal. It is in the sharing of myself with you -- and being there to assist where I can -- that I love and learn my own life more deeply. A wide heart and willing hands make it a more meaningful journey as we do it side-by-side -- growing, laughing and sometimes stumbling along together.

Look life straight in the eye with my head high and my smile wide. This one means I shall not bow the integrity of my spirit to anyone nor will I ride on my pride. I will meet you toe-to toe as I do my life with deep willingness and quiet bravery.

Be courageous in my vulnerability. When I allow others a full knowing of who I am, I am no longer alone. I no longer fear your seeing my scarred humanity. It is the biggest gift I have to share. If you fear sharing yours, here is my hand for you to hold.

There you have them. These are my "Rules to Live By." I would love to hear about yours.

Robin Korth enjoys interactions with her readers.

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