This blog post has been inspired by Kelly-Ann Maddox, a/k/a The Four Queens!
I grew up in a household where fitting in and being popular was very important. As I could accomplish neither, my mother was on my case all the time. I always felt like an outsider and didn’t feel the need to mix with the “in crowd”. But this was a very tender subject for my mom who was on the outside looking in when she was growing up.
As a result, I grew up feeling isolated, in my own little world which none could enter, and my self-esteem was next to nil. My mother made me feel that if I wasn’t popular and had a lot of silly girl friends I wasn’t worth anything. So I never felt comfortable being myself, never knew what my tastes in clothes were as my mother dictated everything, never felt able to express my feelings or opinions. I doubted myself at every turn, didn’t trust my instincts even though I had them, and told myself that whatever I thought was just wrong. But I knew deep inside myself what I really felt, what I knew I knew.
After all my years of living, I have returned to that young knowing and come to believe with certainty that being authentic and living our personal truths should be one of a human being’s primary goals. And I use the word “should” advisedly. There are really no shoulds in life – each of us has to find our own path whether it ends up being something that causes us to thrive or something that causes a constant, niggling pain and discomfort. But if living a full, productive, and joy-filled life is your aim, then look within to find what gives you a sense of purpose and your life meaning – find your true self.
I spent a lot of wasted time looking outside myself for answers because it was easier and less painful than focusing my attention within. But I was sick in heart and soul, mind and body, and eventually the question boiled down to Hamet’s query, “To be or not to be? : That is the question.” I was in turmoil and suicidal for too long. However, the survivor in me, the real seeker knew there was another way, another road – if I had the courage. When the true choice came down to killing myself or really finding my Self within and having a life based on my truth, I found the courage. And I worked hard. I cannot emphasize this enough: The work MUST be done by you!
Fitting in isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s stifling, constricting, and self-defeating. You can only live in Freedom if you are not afraid to march to your own drummer. Dance to the music in your head and let others wonder what the hell is going on. It is their loss if they cannot hear it too. Yes, relationships may have to be redesigned and redefined, but you will figure that out as you go. There might be some necessary loss, and you will have to come to terms with that. But there is nothing like being YOU! The true you, the purpose-filled you. The you full of passion.
Reach out for help if you feel you would like an objective eye. But remember that the work belongs to you. You must own it, take responsibility for your own growth and for the changes that ensue. There is no greater liberation in the human experience!
Andie the Faerie