For my first article, I wanted to relate something that is deeply personal to myself. It has made the most profound impact on my life throughout the past 30 years. It’s the ability to disconnect yourself from the status quo and to live life on your own terms, as the unique individual that you were always meant to be.
As infants, we are constantly learning and growing from all of those who are around us. Especially our parents. We are taught how to behave. We are taught how to speak. We are taught the sorts of activities we should like and how we ought to look to be “respectable”. Directly or indirectly, we are also taught who we should love and sometimes even the career that we ought to grow up to pursue.
Outside of all of that, we are also shaped by society to believe that love should be monogamous and shared between two sole individuals. Not only that, but this monogamous love is meant to last a lifetime and if it doesn’t work out then there’s something wrong with you or your partner. That’s a failure.
Do you enjoy having sex? Do you find it exciting to become intimate with a new partner? Well, then you’re probably a slut or a man whore. Let’s forget that we are biologically driven in this direction, some of us more than others. If we deny these urges to ourselves then we are fighting our very nature. If we allow these urges to overcome us, then we feel shame for not being more in line with societies expectations.
Have you decided that you would rather spend all of your days chasing your passion rather than a fat paycheque? To live the life of a starving artist who loves life and creativity, or would you rather be the wealthy businessman, who lines his coat pockets with the dollar bills that he’s earned in an ethically immoral way?
Well, some people would argue that the businessman is the more successful one because they believe that money IS success. Have you ever felt that way? Our society is Capitalist after all. Yet, that starving artist may be emotionally and spiritually fulfilled, sharing his passion and creativity with the world. That’s a success that a large swath of the population can’t claim to have achieved.
Those who follow all societal conventions will judge you. They will not understand you.
Hell, even those with a more open mind will not always understand you, and guess what? Even if you follow the rules that have been embedded into you from a young age, you are still going to be judged.
Decide you don’t care for your religion that you had no choice in selecting at a young age? Some people might have a problem with that.
I’ve dealt with so many of these same issues. The internal conflict can be demanding.
I was raised a Christian to a devout Christian family. I went to church almost every other weekend and attended strictly Catholic schools for education. It took me 18 years to decide that it was not for me and many years after that before I had the courage to really share my new beliefs.
I’ve stayed in toxic relationships for far too long, trying to do everything that I can to save them because I was afraid of the “failure” of that relationship coming to an end.
I’ve felt compelled to be in a relationship in order to feel valued.
I’ve felt compelled to marry in order to be complete.
I’ve felt ashamed about my sexuality.
Well, my only hope for you, and for all the people of the world, be one of the few that can learn to put yourself first. That you may take the time required to become intimately acquainted with your own desires and beliefs, separate from what you’ve been taught by the world all around you. Not only that you learn who you really are as a unique and perfect individual, but that you have the courage to express these beliefs and desires.
If these beliefs and desires cause no actual harm to other individuals and if you are able to justify these things as important to yourself, then the only consequence of inaction is the injustice of the life that you are serving upon yourself.
Live free. Live wild. Love life. Love yourself. Know yourself. Be your own best friend.
When you are able to become self-fulfilled and whole, the amount of good that you can do for the people around you and yourself is multiplied exponentially.
Life is short and time is limited. Please make your life your own.