I came across this post by a blogger (named Summer Saldana) on Pinterest and it struck me as particularly apropos to the journey of exploration I and many others here find ourselves on.
“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.”
So many of us have spent years or even decades absorbing society’s expectations of how we should act, what we should feel and what we can’t do, all based on a brief physical observation immediately after birth. “Boys should be rough and tough, not soft and nurturing”; “Crying means you are weak”; “Only girls can play house or with dolls”; and “Boys can’t wear those clothes”. These expectations may work for many people, but for others they are a yoke that weighs heavily on the shoulders, until one day the mind and soul collapse from carrying the burden of having to behave in ways contrary to the true nature of the person whose inner being doesn’t match their outer shell.
As puberty and adulthood approaches this incongruity becomes more noticeable as our peers put enormous pressure on us to conform to the ‘norm’, so to avoid being ostracized, we deny our true selves and put on a façade that society wants to see. For a while the mask may hold, causing people to think that all is well. Inside however, the conflict remains and eventually the pressure of holding it in builds to an eruption that can cause great pain and destruction, to ourselves and those around us. We need to find a way to relieve the pressure slowly and in a controlled manner, giving everyone, including us, time to adjust to the new realities.
The quote above illustrates one way we might accomplish this. One by one we can shed the parts of us that are dissonant with our inner core, unbecoming the things that aren’t really us. Like a sculptor who chips away at the block of granite or marble, the pieces that are not part of who we are fall to the wayside revealing the wonderful creation that was always present but had been covered before.
We will only truly be happy when we are free from the shackles we had placed upon us in our youth. As we stretch our muscles, the limitations we had previously experienced are removed. A world we might never have known could exist becomes not only visible but achievable. So shed the chains and weight of expectations of society that have kept you from being who you truly were meant to be, and let yourself soar into the future.
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