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Stop Justifying Yourself—You Don't Owe Anyone an Explanation

You do not owe anyone a justification. Seriously, you don’t. Not for anything. Not for your music or reading preferences. Not for how you dress. Not for what you want in bed or what excites you or turns you on. Not for who you love or how you love. Not for what you choose to do for a living. Not for how you decide to spend your time. Not for your life choices, including parenthood or marriage or divorce. Not for anything.

Now, let that thought sink in. You do not owe anyone a justification—for anything. A person very dear to me frequently tells me, “You like what you like.” He says this in response to any justification I try to give for liking or desiring something that I think others might find silly or juvenile or offensive. He says this without thought, in the most straightforward manner I can imagine. “You like what you like.” What freedom there is in that phrase! What power! “You like what you like.” It is surprisingly simple, this truth, and completely self-evident. Why then do so many of us, myself included, feel the need to justify ourselves and our preferences? Our decisions? Why can we not, like this man whose integrity and self-containment continually astound me, simply allow ourselves to exist as we are—without regard to how others view us? Because isn’t that what the drive to justify means? That we feel, on some level, as though what we do, what we like, and what we choose aren’t acceptable? That they aren’t good enough? That we aren’t good enough? That has certainly been my experience. Whenever I have felt the need to justify anything it has been an act of defense, a way to shield myself from the judgment of others by attempting to convince them that my choice—whatever it might have been—was and is acceptable in some way. But you know what? Screw that. Screw societal acceptance. And screw anyone who tries to force it. You like what you like. So, own it. Hell, do more than that. Revel in it. Your likes, your desires, your needs and joys, your choices, your decisions—they’re all you. And you are the only one who has to accept them or understand them. You are the only one who has to like them. You were put here to be you, something and someone no one else can ever be. So, don’t dilute your power. Don’t justify. Don't explain. You don’t owe it to anyone.

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