An interesting thing has happened since I started prioritizing my own happiness above everything else. I attracted haters.
Haters who say I am disconnected from reality. Haters who say I don’t understand how the world works. Haters who say I am crazy.
I started to wonder if they were right. I mean, it’s true I don’t subscribe to societal norms. It’s true that for all intents and purposes I walked away from a successful company that I built. It’s true that I stopped caring about money and success. It’s true that I stopped caring about what other people thought of me.
And it’s true, I am definitely not normal when compared to others.
I’ve watched as my new version of normal became so far removed from what other people consider normal that I might in fact be crazy.
But here’s the thing. I’m happy. I’m really happy.
My life is full of joy, excitement, amazement and childlike wonder. I am full of gratitude for every experience I create; I am full of love for myself and my fellow human beings. I have opened myself to receive the endless gifts that my experiences have to offer. I’m witnessing my experiences expanding at an accelerated rate. I’m learning new and exciting things I never would have been able to see before.
And it’s absolutely incredible. There simply aren’t words to describe the level of joy in my life, because it seems impossible that it even exists in this magnitude.
So I started to embrace being called crazy. I started to wear the label with pride.
Yes, I am crazy.
“It’s no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
I’m crazy enough to choose to be happy. I’m crazy enough to not subscribe to societal norms just to fit in. I’m crazy enough to walk away from a successful career that didn’t light me up inside. I’m crazy enough to not care about money or success. I’m crazy enough to make happiness my new measure of success. I’m crazy enough to follow my joy and live every day as if it were my last.
I’m crazy enough to think that I can actually change the world by spreading love and joy into every moment, every interaction and every experience. I’m crazy enough to think that one day the messages I share will go mainstream, and that I might even be a part of delivering that message.
I’m crazy enough to see that I hold the same ability to impact the world as Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jesus Christ, John Lennon, Bob Marley and every other person who tried to spread this message.
I’m crazy enough to fill every interaction with another human being with truly unconditional love. Love with no expectations of return, no strings and no attachment to an outcome.
I’m crazy enough to want to help others find their way to happiness and to show them everything I’ve learned along the way. I’m crazy enough to reach out to everyone who doubts true happiness exists and show them infinite love and compassion. I’m watching as it softens their hearts and tears down their walls. And that fills me with even more love for my fellow human being.
I’m crazy enough to do all of this, because I have faced my death. I’ve seen my death. I know that when I’m dying I’m not going to care how much money I have, I’m not going to care how much success I have and I’m not going to care about all the goals I reached.
I know that what I will care about is how much love I gave to the world and how much love I received. I know that the only things that will be left are infinite love, gratitude and infinite surrender.
“If all the things that you stood for were burned to ashes at your door, would you stay and try some more? What if all the love you gave was starin’ at you from the grave, would it make your heart explode?” ~ Michael Franti & Spearhead in “Let it Go”
So I choose to surrender now. I choose to fill my life with experiences that light me up and bring me joy. I want my heart to explode from all the love I give in life, so I choose to let everything else go without excuses, without regrets and without explanations.
If all of that makes me crazy, then I want to be crazy.
I will wear that badge with honor. And I’ll raise my kids to be crazy too. And I’ll show my friends how to be crazy. And I’ll show the world how to be crazy.
If we are all crazy, maybe crazy can become the new normal. And then what will my haters be?
Well, I hope they will be crazy too.
I’ve found that crazy is an amazing place to be. It is full of love; it is full of gratitude; it is full of connection. It is full of deep meaning. It’s full of what every person I’ve ever met says they want in life, but doesn’t know how to get or doesn’t think they deserve.
I’m here to tell you: We all deserve this kind of crazy. We all want this kind of crazy.
As you move forward and make happiness your priority, you might have your own set of haters. Show them love. Show them compassion. See them for who they really are, people who just want to be happy—just like you.
Author: Nichole Kelly
Editor: Toby Israel
Photo: Eugene Wineblat/Flickr