"We have been raised to fear... our deepest cravings. And the fear of our deepest cravings keep them suspect, keeps us docile and loyal and obedient, and leads us to settle for...many facets of our own oppression" Audre Lorde
Many of us are unaware of the self imposed bondage we live in. Parents and loved ones had the best intentions for us as we were being raised. They always had to check us to keep us in line because we had no clue what boundaries meant; telling us a lot of DON'Ts in order to keep us out of trouble.
The thing is that we do not realise the importance of unlearning many of the DON'Ts. It is crazy to think of the number of us that age without growing up. We were so used to approving nods from parents and extended family that when we started interacting with outsiders, being the 'good girl/boy' became deeply gratifying. Some of our rebellious friends also acted out because "no one can tell me what to do. Admire me, I'm different!"
Our experiences of the world became limited to the fix we got from other people. You know, like that boy you were not so into but you became his girlfriend because you did not want to be the only single one in your group of friends. We want to belong and be liked. Then when we are not looking at our immediate circle, we are online, seeking validation from strangers on social media or copying trends that we really have not given thought to. Some even get their drive from negative energy by courting attention, being all about 'envious and jealous haters'.
We cannot be perfect but gosh I wish I started getting to know my real self much earlier (it's never too late though). Have you started unlearning the things that hold you back? Beliefs that cause you to internalise shame and pain? Thoughts that hold you captive and feeling like you are the only one in the world going through whatever it is that you are experiencing? Living mindfully does not erase the possibilities of making mistakes. That's a human thing but I strongly believe that living mindfully helps make the journey easier.
Spend time with yourself. Dig and you may be surprised at what you come up with. This is not about worshipping self or being reckless. It is about taking stock of where you are presently, being realistic about your issues and figuring out how to live fully in spite of them. It is when we are fully present that we can make lasting changes.You cannot attempt to fix a problem you do not even acknowledge.
For many of us, it is easier to look outside, analyse and judge others' actions. Sometimes our internal absence means we do not even realise we are doing this. Others know and even dislike their critical selves but they are scared. They know how much pain there is inside so it is better to live in denial and let time cover our wounds than deal. But does this really help?
Self-awareness is huge! Choose to be the one that dates yourself. Choose to go through the pain and get to know you. What you like and dislike. Figure out your WHYs. For preconceived reasons or ones thought out by you? Do you feel responsible for your life and actions?
"I'm doing me. I'm living my life" are some of the things we say defensively when we feel attacked or under pressure but doing just that is freeing. Living for you and your creator and building your world around what brings you peace is what real freedom is about.