Tuesday, April 19, 2011
How to be Who You Are, Against All Odds, Pt 5 - Permission, Naysayers, Fear
This series is part of an extensive essay I wrote to explain theraputic methods I have myself used and have taught to my friends. I think a lot of people out there have no idea what they really want or who they really are, because we have all been trained so long to follow the herd and trends and authority. Those walls need to be broken back down so that your true self can grow and flourish, and you can find true happiness from within yourself.
Permission to Embark
I'm giving you permission. You have every right on God's Green Earth to be the person you were meant to be. Why? Because you were born to be this person. God designed you this way, you chose this life, and here you are. Attempting to fight how you really feel every day will do NOTHING but make you miserable and will make the people around you miserable by proxy. Love yourself for who you are because you are the only person who will always be there, who will always love you and who will do your best to keep you safe. No one can understand you better than you understand yourself, so NO ONE deserves to tell you how to live your life. Don't feel like you have to impress people or meet their expectations, they do not have a right to impose such things upon you. While I do believe you should set your own goals and constantly work to improve yourself in areas you feel are important, this process is not something that should ever be dictated by anyone else. This is YOUR life. You are the only one who has to live with yourself at the end of the day, so do what makes YOU feel good, productive, healthy and happy. Be the best you that you can be, for yourself and no one else.
No matter what path you choose in life, SOMEONE is going to disagree with you. The path that you choose is really only differentiated by how many people disagree with you and how loud they are about it. It is quite likely that in order for you to lead a happy life, you will defy the people you care about and possibly estrange them. Bottom line - if they cannot be supportive of your decisions then they do not have your best interests at heart. You can still love them, but I suggest you do it from afar. Don't let what they say get to you, it is their own fear talking. Fear of something different, fear of losing you, fear of their lifestyle being "wrong" if they admit that yours is OK. Some people will never accept you but remember that the only person whose acceptance you NEED is your own, and if you cannot accept yourself because you are playing by other people's rules, you are going to stay unhappy.
We all have it. That tiny voice that tells you that you're taking too many risks, that you should just be part of the crowd, that safe is best, and that maybe, just maybe, you've gone completely insane. Shut. It. Down. Argue with it if it helps (and it may). Make it your mission to debate with that voice rather than to automatically do what it says. That voice wants the safest way out. It doesn't understand that you absolutely have to be unsafe in order to grow. It doesn't want to grow, because growth isn't safe. Sure, you could stay the little seed inside the seed pod for the rest of your life, and there is no chance you'd ever get mowed down by a lawnmower if you did that. But you'd also never see the sun, feel the rain, or feel alive. The risk is worth it. It is always worth it. One of the biggest motivations of the little voice in your head is fear of loss - loss of your life, your possessions, your very mind. The little voice is fear - and fear should never motivate what you do in life. Fear is what makes women stay with abusive men, makes politicians push the little red button, makes people hoard and stay indoors all the time, it stops people from living their lives and it causes tragedies. Let it go. Realize that you will be afraid - but like the pain you feel, the only way to make it stop is to walk through the fire and out to the other side. You cannot go around, dig a hole to china or just hide behind it. You must walk through, and the fire will burn like hell, but it will burn away the weakest parts of you.
Fear will play into your life in another way - the fear from others. If you do the impossible, people will be afraid of you. Why? They are afraid it makes them weak, means that they have to do it too, afraid that they aren't capable, afraid they are wrong, afraid their entire life has been a lie. And, sadly, in many cases it has. Anyone who goes through life acting on other people's beliefs and rules is living a false life. There is a difference between finding someone who believes things that you know in your heart to be true and banding together, and following the herd because... well, it's what people do. If someone reacts to the changes you are making with anger, hatred or negativity, understand that they do so not because something is wrong with you but because something is wrong with them. Something in their hearts has echoed what you've said or done, and scared the shit out of them.
After all, if they've followed the stupid rules all their lives, why the hell don't you have to?
Next Post: Closure