You were raised in a highly traumatized society. The symptoms of this trauma are everywhere: high rates of depression and anxiety, suicide as a leading cause of death, mass shootings, homophobia, racism, sexism, sex trafficking, rampant mental/emotional/physical/sexual abuse, anorexia, bulimia, and body dysmorphia, and so on.
There is no way any of us escaped childhood unscathed. We all have emotional wounds, most of them unhealed, from being raised in a traumatized society. When we are young, we have no choice but to accept the reality with which we are presented. We believe the lies society sold us through our parents, teachers, religion, schools, media, friends, etc.
These lies told us how we should look, how we should behave, what we should wear, what we should do for a living, what your relationships should look like, who you should love, what you should say, how you should say it, how much money you should make, how you should spend it, and it gave us a strict timeline as to when we should get all these expectations accomplished. Society has “should” all over you – gross!
Societal norms and expectations are not truths, they are simply arbitrary “rules” we all agree to. However, we don’t have to believe these lies or follow these rules or fit into the tiny, narrow boxes of norms and expectations.
We may naturally fit into a few small boxes of norms and expectations but most of us don’t fit well, or at all, in most of them. When we don’t fit into the narrow definitions of what is societally acceptable, it hurts. It hurts to try and squeeze ourselves into these tiny boxes of acceptability. When we don’t fit into a box we automatically think it’s because there is something wrong with us and that hurts even more. I want to challenge this notion.
To this I say: There is nothing wrong with you, there is everything wrong with the box!
Letting go of societal norms and expectations is easier said than done. We have, after all, been believing these lies for a very long time. So, let’s start with a small step: call out the lies! You are the universe made manifest and you are meant to shine like only you can shine. If you shove yourself into a box that isn’t yours, how can you possibly shine your unique light? When you find yourself bumping up against the restricting edges of these tiny boxes of acceptability, don’t be hard on yourself; be hard on the box!
Challenge the box, not who you are!
We are spiritual beings having a human experience and the human experience is messy and traumatizing. Be easy with yourself, have compassion for yourself. You do not have to fit into the narrow boxes ascribed by society. You are meant to be you and you are meant to live your life your own way, on your own timeline. You are doing it right. Keep standing up for and believing in yourself and your unique expression of self.
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