Dare to be yourself in a society that is not built to support you.
It’s one of the most heroic things you can do.
We glorify heroes with integrity, determination, innovation, grit, and the ability to stand for what they believe in — in movies.
We glorify failure and innovation. Yet in my experience, I have been put down repeatedly because I stand for honor, justice and truth.
I have been told:
- You’re wrong
- You don’t know
- You make mistakes
- It’s not enough
- You can’t
- Stop talking
- You’re crazy
- You’re too: strong, soft, loud, powerful, young etc.
I have spoken up, spoken out and been shut down. I have been judged, criticized, condemned, yelled at and told to just “take it.”
Now, let’s get one thing straight. I approach this “feedback” from a place of grace and humility, truly looking to learn something from it and improve myself.
I did not find anything major to fix, however. In fact, it was blatantly off the mark. Some of it was complete lies.
No matter how I tried to learn from it, I found nothing. I wasn’t learning anything and I questioned myself to the point of questioning reality. The feedback was, in fact, THE OPPOSITE of me.
I came to a few conclusions, and let me preface that all of these are possibilites. I do not claim to be “right” and I am exploring the options.
So here we go:
- Perhaps it’s the backfire of manifestation. I am focused too much trying to dissect the problem. That is a possibility.
- Perhaps I am their mirror and their teacher. Highly likely.
- Perhaps I have blind spots. Also possible.
And when I take a good, long look in the mirror, I am satisfied and at peace. I feel alignment and integrity in my heart.
Actually, I do know what I’m talking about. I know damn well.
So, going back to the concept of “no right and wrong” I realized this.
I don’t fit into your box. That doesn’t mean I’m wrong or you’re wrong. I just don’t fit into your box.
And the box may be anything from your social circle, your workplace, your city, your society, your religion or your culture.
There is nothing wrong with you. We don’t belong in boxes.
You may be the biggest “spotlight of truth” in your environment and you will get heat for it. And the environment just doesn’t sync with you. And that’s ok.
You are meant for greatness and you know it when you feel it in your heart, no matter how wrong or crazy the world tells you that you are.
If it weren’t for Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King, would people still be walking around accepting slavery and discrimination due to a person’s skin color?
That’s insane. And yet it was accepted as “just how it is”.
You have been chosen as a warrior to change the environment that doesn’t support us.
You — and many, many more of you.
Many of us with good hearts and good intentions feel that something is off. And when the whole world is off, the whole world will point at you and tell you. “You’re the one who is wrong. Because you don’t fit into this society.”
The society doesn’t support you. Society isn’t built in congruence with nature and it doesn’t serve you, so you are here to build a new one.
The following words will resonate more with your heart than they will with your mind.
It has been so many years that we’ve lived this way that we’ve forgotten what natural actually is. It is still reflected in our films and our music and our art.
We spend the majority of our lives in boxes with machines and it’s eating away at us. Elizabeth Gilbert explains it well in her book, The Last American Man
“I live in nature where everything is connected, circular. The seasons are circular. The planet is circular, and so is the planet around the sun. The course of water over the earth is circular coming down from the sky and circulating through the world to spread life and then evaporating up again. I live in a circular teepee and build my fire in a circle. The life cycles of plants and animals are circular. I live outside where I can see this. The ancient people understood that our world is a circle, but we modern people have lost sight of that. I don’t live inside buildings because buildings are dead places where nothing grows, where water doesn’t flow, and where life stops. I don’t want to live in a dead place. People say that I don’t live in a real world, but it’s modern Americans who live in a fake world, because they have stepped outside the natural circle of life.
Do people live in circles today? No. They live in boxes. They wake up every morning in a box of their bedrooms because a box next to them started making beeping noises to tell them it was time to get up. They eat their breakfast out of a box and then they throw that box away into another box. Then they leave the box where they live and get into another box with wheels and drive to work, which is just another big box broken into little cubicle boxes where a bunch of people spend their days sitting and staring at the computer boxes in front of them. When the day is over, everyone gets into the box with wheels again and goes home to the house boxes and spends the evening staring at the television boxes for entertainment. They get their music from a box, they get their food from a box, they keep their clothing in a box, they live their lives in a box.
Break out of the box! This not the way humanity lived for thousands of years.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, The Last American Man
Stay within the lines, follow the crowds and chase the dream — but — it’s not our dream.
How do you know?
You feel it. Inside yourself. You’ll feel a deep misalignment. You can push it down, but it will never let you go.
So be brave, stay true to yourself and let criticism wash over you.
Here are some tips:
- Don’t take advice or criticism from someone who hasn’t achieved what you want to achieve. Many people talk a lot without knowing what they are talking about. They are just reflecting their current state of being, not yours.
- Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s right. Trust yourself and go with that.
- Be brave, follow your heart, and stay optimistic. There are many more like you.
May we meet someday.