I grew up hearing the rich old saying, “Do as I say not as I do”; not to mention if I asked why I would hear, “BECAUSE I SAID SO!!!“. I am sure I’m not the only one. Often times when these things were said the adults saying them were doing the exact opposite. On the other hand, some of those following these rules interestingly enough do not know why these standards were put in place or who put them here. Yet, they follow the rules set in place because it was something passed on to them and “that’s just the way it is”. In our community it is as though we conform to just about anything; whether it makes sense or not. Some may see it as not being that serious while others make jokes about it either as venting, passing time, getting attention, likes, or whatever may have you. However, we enforce things that may be tearing down our community little by little destroying the structure and dignity that we have left; without even realizing it.
* What is conforming? What exactly are we talking about?*
Conform: comply with rules, standards, or laws.
- Behave according to socially acceptable conventions or standards.
It can be uncomfortable being the odd one out. It makes others uncomfortable as well. Often times when we make others uncomfortable it is voiced in an unpleasant manner. Sly remarks may be made followed by sarcastic questions; with little desire to want to know the truth. There may even be a moment where we are sent on a guilt trip with all the reasons why we shouldn’t be so different. Often times we begin to conform because we “don’t want to hear anybody’s month.” We are conforming to make others comfortable again. Why is that? We may feel out of place when we are simply trying to be ourselves around other people. That is okay. The environment may not be one you prefer or the vibe is off. Perhaps we actually are out of place; maybe we aren’t meant to be around certain people. The moment we give in and conform we are suppressing a huge part of ourselves to satisfy others. How do you feel when you conform for other people? When we disown a part of who we are our personalities and attitudes towards life begin to feel forced. Almost as though we are trying to convince ourselves this false since of self is who we really are. While everyone around you loves this version of you. How do you really feel? Do we even like the person we have altered ourselves into being? Often times we are fooled into becoming someone we truly do not like. There is always a promise of more friends, business opportunities, or a better way of living. However, have we ever stopped to ask who created this standard of living and being? Many times we are forced to choose between being what others want us to be and who we truly are. Often at the expense of losing friends and “luxurious” life. And it all boils down to what makes you happy.
We are all under this impression that to have friends and make it in life we have to fit in the same box as others. However, that isn’t the case. Standing out is a good thing. Being unique is what makes us special. Each of us is created different to perform many different tasks. We are the same yet different in a variety of ways. Conforming taints the soul and suppresses who we are within; causing us to forget who we are. Creating this false sense of self to satisfy others detaches us from self; in turn forcing a part of us to die. We slowly become dependent on others to validate us. Once we need validation from other people begin to feel entitled to our space, time, energy, and personal life. We lose time to ourselves caused by others wanting a piece of us by the second. Moments to our self are filled with things we really may not be up to doing. We forget that it is okay to do somethings alone because most activities are done in a group. Having a different perspective on things may be seen as taboo or taken personal; due to others telling you how you should feel about things. Agreeing to disagree may not be a option because opposing opinions may not be heard or respected. Group thinking becomes the name of the game. We have all been told at some point the great things that come from belonging to some type of group. Often times it is suggested that we should be a part of something to: enhance our chances of being a better person, keep us motivated, create an identity, and add to our sense of self. In a sense, it is almost as though being a part of group adds value and meaning to our lives. While all of this may be true to some degree; there is always a chance of conforming to a way of life that we may end up resenting down the road. Everyone longs to feel as though they are not the black sheep or odd man out; to have a sense of belonging. And sometimes these feelings place us in a world of trouble in some way, shape, or fashion. We may find ourselves a part of a team, organization, group, or crew for many reasons. Is this wrong? Of course not; If we have knowledge of self-beforehand. Without knowledge of self we lack an identity; our own identity. This causes us to lack self-expression; from thinking and speaking for ourselves to lack of creativity. We allow ourselves to become molded into what others want us to be due to the fact that we do not know who we are. Often times when we take on the persona that was given to us we begin to feel important. We then have an “image” to uphold. When we hold on to the image that was given to us we willingly throw away our intuition at the cost of being accepted. It is often easier to suppress who we are rather than to hear others talk about you.
When making an attempt to be authentic people applaud us for being brave without know how hard it truly is. Many times it means being the butt of people’s jokes, being excluded from things, or even being sent on a guilt trip. However, knowing that others will always have something to say about you no matter what you do or say is grounds enough to be apologetically you. No one can fault you for being who you are at all times. There was a quote I ran across many months ago that keeps me grounded in my truth.
“When a person is seen freely living their truth it reminds others of their chains”
Forgetting who we are and conforming to things we truly do not understand or agree with sucks us into a world that isn’t for us. It is important to be stingy with our time, space, and energy to protect and in many cases save ourselves. Aside from physically being involved in social groups that enforce stereotypes; the very thing directing and redirecting societal norms is social media. Many if not all of us walk around with our heads down as we indulge in our many phone apps. I often call social media a blessing and a curse do to the fact that if we are not careful a single notification can rule our lives. Every now and again it is important for us to unplug ourselves from the world and tune into ourselves. If we charged our bodies mentally, physically, and spiritually as much as we charged our devices imagine how different the world would be. Social media directs the wave of what’s hot and not. We find ourselves living for the media; putting up an image for likes that we may not necessarily like. Or on the other hand going the extra mile to be something we really aren’t comfortable with. Many times we put so much of ourselves out there that we have nothing left to save for ourselves. This may be done because we feel we have to show it to prove “it”.
In all things, if something feels forced leave it. Many times there are levels in life that lead up to us conforming in some way. This happens because without realizing it we ask for things to manifest in our lives. A little preventive care could be weighing our options to find a better way of doing things. Even if it takes a day or less to do so take that time. Another mindful practice to carry with us is asking “What resignations with me?” In this we find what makes us happy, puts us at peace, and sets our soul on fire. Seeking guidance in our everyday life leads to those moments in life where we do not have to question our next decision or if we “fit in” because; it all will feel natural. When we stop forcing situations we will begin to flow into our destiny.
Peace and Blessing,
My thoughts my views, Share with me, vibe with me