Has anyone ever told you to, “settle down”? Or have you been asked, “when are you going to settle down?”
Have you ever said either statement in an attempt to fling an imaginary safety net over someone’s behaviour or lifestyle, or, out of confusion that someone hasn’t, or doesn’t seem inclined to, settle down?
It’s important to understand the intentions behind our words. We tend to parrot common phrases, with no idea why. We can think we’re justified in saying certain things, because everyone says them and they’ve always been said. We think we mean well, but, perhaps we’re simply ignoring our own underlying issues.
Words can create magic (white or black), and we need to maintain awareness of unconscious word pollution.
On that note, let’s get back to settle down. When you really think about this one, does anyone actually want to settle? And, in that settling does anyone want to do so…down?
Looking at both words separately, settle means to put in order, or to conclude. Down means moving to a lower place or to be subdued. So…could die subdued suffice just as well? Imagine saying that to someone? When settle and down are strung together, their most common usage is to imply that a certain behaviour is too over-the-top, or that the time has come to put life on a shelf to gather dust in the fabled safe environment of normal society.
As one of the most common phrases of all time, it appears harmless because we hear it often. However, all you need to do is observe the effect it has on a child as excited squeals are silenced with a sharp, “settle down”, or when the passionate ideas of an artist are suffocated by an amused “settle down”, or the dreams of an adventurous mountain climber are snubbed with a scornful, “you should be settling down now”.
Simple, common words mixed with irritated, sarcastic or envious emotional intentions can be pure poison if ingested as truth by an impressionable mind.
Why then, do we say this to others, or hear it from others, and so often?
In the best sense of the phrase, it can be a way of asking someone to modify their behaviour, which can be necessary if the behaviour is dangerous. It’s often used by the well-intentioned person whose version of settling down has meant domestic bliss and a fulfilling life – therefore feeling it’s their duty to tell others to settle down so they can enjoy a similar scenario.
However, when the question is posed in a social setting, you can see the ‘cringe- factor’ ripple through the unfortunately targeted single person, or the happily unmarried couple living blissfully in separate houses, or the vagabond backpacker, or the perpetual student or the childless, bohemian 40 year-olds – the quirky people who often radiate a high vibration of enthusiasm and anticipation for life.
For the routine-enslaved soul operating on a lower frequency of undiscovered staleness, this vibration is often too much to deal with. Hence, like a shot to the heart, the free-spirits must hear, “you should be settling down,” so that the settled down people can feel validated in their own choice to do so and secure in the fact they’ve ‘helped’ the poor, deluded odd people come to their senses.
The statement is simply a way of expressing a pre-conditioned belief of what settling down is, upon those who are not living society’s most common ideal of it. When confronted with unique behaviour, when we’re unconsciously following standard society-held beliefs, we can begin to wonder why someone wouldn’t be following the herd.
We’re suddenly forced to re-evaluate our own herd following mentality. This is challenging. It often feels easier to stay within the non-threatening status quo and, instead, (by saying things like “you should be settling down”), infer that people who don’t settle into the normal box, are somehow doing something wrong and must eventually convert to the right way of thought.
The thought of the majority.
But is it really the thought of the majority? Faced with mid-life crisis, or hearing that repetitive little voice in the mind say, “just let me do want I want to do!” or “I need to escape!” or “there must be more to life than this,” many people seem to regret taking the road to Settle Downsville.
We can observe that, “when are you going to settle down?” is most often said to people who embrace regular, soul inspiring change through a variety of life paths – enjoying the rollercoaster of lessons rather than hiding from them within the falsely secure status quo box.
If you look up definitions of settling down on the internet, you will see these three words alone.
Marriage. Mortgage. Children.
They are, basically, the only 3 ingredients in this world-renowned recipe for life called settling down. And they are often vilified by people who’ve lived in Settle Downsville and therefore blamed unhappy existences on money issues, partners or children – and the fact that they’ve settled down.
Little wonder. If you’re going to follow a recipe with a non-scrumptious name like Settle Down…chances are the dish is going to burn.
After a year or 4 or 50 – these 3 prime ingredients are often crossed out, and included instead are divorce, bankruptcy and mid-life crisis. The western world really can be that predictable, and it continues to be so with the help of phrases, like settle down, throwing cold water on the passionate fire that manifests fulfilling lives.
Only cold water though. Nothing external can actually squash our dreams or our passions. We do that all by ourselves by robotically following paths trodden by those before us, even if those paths are rather muddy and stagnant and filled with robots blindly expecting us to join them.
Let’s take the settling down ingredient out of this recipe for life and add in a bright, wholly inclusive, dynamic and delicious ingredient.
Living Up encapsulates an entirely different intention. It doesn’t imply rules or walls or barriers. It includes all variations of ways in which we can choose to live. It’s accepting and tolerant and unselfish. It allows for excitement, creativity, growth, love, lessons and peace to operate within us as a team of balanced, succulent feelings.
When someone says to you, “when are you going to settle down?” simply reply, “what does that mean? I prefer Living Up!” Create awareness about unconscious statements and try to eradicate the use of them. Asking people to explain why they’ve said something often promotes awareness of pre-programmed ‘chatter’ and unconscious words.
No one, living the life they truly wish to live, ever says to anyone else, “settle down”, nor do they ask “when are you going to settle down?” These statements generally come from those who’ve unconsciously settled into Settle Downsville and believe that is the only place we’re supposed to, or allowed to, live.
Let them know it’s not. Or, if this is you, know that our scope of choice is infinite, if we only choose to open our eyes and look beyond the status quo. On the other hand, if you love the status quo, by all means play in that realm, but do so without the expectation that everyone else wants to be or should be playing there with you.
To settle down can be confused with to evolve. But evolvement is all about upwards, spiritual growth. Growth towards whatever makes your heart sing. If that means a quiet existence in the country, experience your growth in a peaceful setting, if it means being surrounded by a rowdy family, do so, if it means being a nomad and laying your roots in the air and the sky and the stars, then be a nomad.
Evolvement has nothing to do with settling, marriage, children, houses, jobs, monetary status, social status or behaving quietly and politely in public rather than laughing your head off when you want to or dancing wildly in the rain. All such experiences can be viewed as tools towards evolvement, rather than mistaken for the only options we have available to us when we ‘grow up’.
You never have to settle down into anything, and, in fact, your soul won’t, even if you do choose to live for a while in a play written and directed by everyone else. If you do fall asleep in such a way, don’t worry, you’ll notice the dust of Settle Downsville settling on your nose the minute you hear yourself asking someone if they are ever going to settle down.
Let’s become aware of the poison in words used so freely, simply because they’re so apparently normal. Let’s eradicate outdated phrases and, instead, perfume the air with succulent messages that manifest bliss and freedom.
Let’s choose to Live Up!