(disclaimer: this post has not been read over, edited, or corrected much from the in-the-moment of writing it down…)
I was just thinking today about how we can be so many different things in life. Depending on our upbringing, whether we have siblings; everything that we are surrounded by in life, starting when we are young, is causing reactions within us and molding us into a way of life, of being.
Now, I realized this especially when I was traveling in Thailand. And I got an enormous amount of freedom from this realization, because it means that what we are surrounded by when we are young, and now, is not necessarily what is "normal" or "right" or "the way" of life; it's simply what the society around us believes it to be. And traveling shows that each place has a different experience of reality and what is to be expected. Which time and time again results in the people born into these places taking on the same values and beliefs - typically.
The beautiful thing is that, with self-awareness and openness, we can realize this and then start to again listen to our own intuition and instincts. We can hone in to our own personal feelings on what is "right" and "wrong," what feels good and bad, and what we want from life. And with the knowledge that everyone is living in their own separate truths of reality, we no longer will feel like we are being held back by the values of others. We can see that they are simply living in their own world in their heads, which does not have to be our own.
And through this, we can come out of the grind of our daily life, living half-awake and in a fog, and come back into touch with our true reality, our souls, and our own passions and creativity.
I was talking with my dad a while back about the fact that so many revolutionary people in life first took a journey of their own in order to come back into touch with reality and themselves. And once they have done this and finished their personal journey, they are able to reflect, and come back into the realm of society and share what they have learned from an authentic space within themselves. But it takes a separation from the thoughts of what is real and what is not, from another person's perspective. It takes a journey within ourselves in order to really come into a sense of trueness. Then we know that we are right without asking anyone else. We can trust our own intuition; yes, take the advice of others and listen, but still know within ourselves what feels right.
I'm not exactly sure where I am going with this post. I think it is a big topic on my mind today because the mom that I nanny for and I were talking today about pleasing other people, and how we both tend to be "chameleons" and bend to the opinions of others, regardless of our own opinions and feelings of the situation. For example, she took her two kids into the barber shop to get a haircut, having a specific cut in mind for both of them. however, as the barbers often tend to be, the lady cutting the boys' hair had a different idea in mind and was very adamant about this. Now, even though their mother felt sure in her own decision, she caved to the barber's opinion because, how do you say no to someone else? And then, of course, she ended up finding the haircut ridiculous and did not like it.
Why is it so difficult for so many of us to share our own perspectives and values in the face of others who feel differently?
We asked this question together, and I answered with the thought that maybe we want others to feel that they are respected, and we do not want to ruin their idea of what is right and what isn't. But, because of this, we hold ourselves back and do not life to our own full potential. We end up hiding ourselves for the fleeting moment that the other person will feel capable, yet in enabling this other person, we disable ourselves and send ourselves further down the dark hole of hiding our true opinions.
What a boring and seemingly pointless life, to only do what others say is right. What a sad way to live in always trying to please others and not saying what we believe in. And now, let's switch it around. Let's say that, at the barber shop, she told the barber that she knew how she wanted her sons' haircuts to look like and would like them cut only in that way. What happens next?
That isn't her responsibility.
That is the barber's own reaction, her own responsibility, and has nothing to do with the mother. Whether she bites her own tongue with her opinion still on the tip of it, she reacts in anger, or she is happy to fulfill the opinion of the mother: THIS IS NOT WHAT THE MOM SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT. This is not her. She can only do what she feels right doing, and that is speaking her own opinion. Then, she has done her part. The rest is up to the barber, but now, the mother will not feel oppressed or frustrated with herself, and all of the worrisome energy of not saying what she wanted to say will no longer feel like her responsibility.
She has been true, she has spoken her word, and what comes after that is not her decision, nor something that she should get so invested in.
I speak for myself when I talk about this mother as well.
I have lived my life often to please others, often meaning sacrificing my own confidence and potential.
I have often felt afraid to "upstage" other people, or that others might feel as if I am "better" than them. This is not because I think I'm better; but I often get the feeling that others see me in that way. And I don't want to be seen like that.
I want to understand others, and I want to be understood by others. And often, because of the fear of not being understood or relatable, I will change my own life and downplay myself so that, I feel like others will still feel the same. But in doing this, where is my passion coming from in life? How am I ever going to pursue my dreams and goals 100% when my priority lies in not making others feel like they are "less" than I am? What kind of a life is waiting on the sidelines because I fear that I will excel? I want others to be themselves and always encourage them to do this. So, doesn't this mean that I also should be myself, regardless of what this means?
It means accepting the fact that every single individual on this planet is unique and perfect just as they are: WHICH INCLUDES ME. I do not need to downplay myself; I need to love myself completely, and the only way to do this is being 100% authentic, honest, and compassionate with myself and who I am right now.
However others react is not my responsibility; it's not on me. It's on them. And it's their own situation to handle. Not. Mine.
And through being compassionate and authentic, I will finally connect with those that appreciate me for me, and the same with them. Otherwise I will always be living in fear that I am not enough, or too much. The only way to stop this way of thinking is to start being true and authentic. And accepting that other's reactions to this is their own reaction to take care of. I am doing them a favor by not sheltering myself in order to please them. Because then, maybe they will come into full contact with themselves as well- past their possible ego. - I am not talking about everyone in this- more talking to the fears that there are others who will not accept me fully for myself.
So, the moral of this story: Be authentic. Be true. Accept my soul. 100%.
Today ended up going awesome because I did this. And not only that, but I accepted others truly for who they are 100%. And wow, let me say that my connections with every other person was so great and the best it has been in a long time. I feel more connected to the person beneath the face that so many people have put on. I feel truly connected, and I feel more honest and that these people see me more also. SO, yay for authenticity. And going with my gut instinct on situations. Trusting in the flow of life.
There's a time for everything. <3