We are born completely connected to source. We explore the world around us with joy and each experience is taken so deep into our being that it shapes us and directs our actions long after we have abandoned our childhood. We pinpoint things that did and did not happen as children that cause the troubles we experience in childhood. A baby that is not loved and nurtured at birth may never be able to properly attach to another human being. Our experiences are THAT important.
As children we believe we are capable of anything and everything. Watch a child as he interacts with the adults in his life. He wants to do and try everything they are doing. It does not occur to him that he might not be able to or that he might fail. He won’t hear that his legs are not long enough or he lacks the strength. He insists on trying. Even if he fails he will try, and try again. A child seldom internalizes failure as something to do with his ability, but more often as a sign that he needs to have another go at it. And he does.
A child shouts with anger, laughs out loud, cannot contain their sorrow or disappointment, have feet that dance and hands that wave with joy. They feel things. They express what they feel with their body’s actions, their facial expressions, and their voice. You don’t often have to ask a child how they are feeling, the whole room is aware of their current emotional state.
And then the world begins to slowly herd a child into their container.
“Don’t say that, people will think you are strange.”
“Good little boys don’t do those things.”
“That is not the right way to do it, do it this way.”
And they no longer try things with wild abandon. They stop embracing life with gut reactions and take time to first check how other people are reacting and what they are doing. They look for approval or at least a lack of disapproval. They worry what other people will think of them and how they will see them. They hide their emotions. They shut down their connection to source and start to sit on the sidelines more and more. They are not willing to risk failure, to try the unknown, to curry censor. They dilute life so that it cannot entice them out of their box. If there was a volume knob on “being you” someone has turned it to “mute.”
The child is an adult.
The rewards for his life will come based on his ability to operate and stay within the box. Even his box must be kept in a certain way. As long as he does what everyone else is doing, abides by the rules, sits quietly, respects those identified for him as the people he must revere, and contains his emotions . . . he stands a chance. If he learns to operate in that confined space in the prescribed manner, he will be pronounced a “success.”
Compliance affords opportunities and privileges. Compliance means looking the other way, keeping your mouth shut, repeating the appropriate phrases, and never questioning those that stand in authority. He will be rewarded with the chance to earn more money. He will be a winner in life. He will have a big house, a nice car, vacation once in awhile, have partner (s), and a couple of children. His obituary will list his career and bits of details about his community as if these are the only measurements of his soul worth taking. The type of hearse he is able to hire, the coffin he is laid in and the graveyard chosen for his body to be laid to rest will let those left behind understand how much value he had and what portion of grieving is appropriate. The more he has complied the more likely that he will have a larger crowd to gather for that funeral. Sheep are not solitary animals.
There are millions of successful men dead and buried neatly in rows, most fitting of the conformity in which they lived their lives. We don’t know most of them, some of their names are already wearing off the stones on which they were carved, but there is a marker to attest they were here. Their ordinariness is mirrored in the grave next to them, the graveyard in the next town and those all over the country and around the world. Men who conformed and lived their lives as duplicates of one another, abandoning self, walking in line, earning, consuming, dying.
I ask people to reconnect to self, to make the journey inward and rely on their own voice instead of seeking out the counsel of others because I don’t believe that we are meant to be sheep trying to disappear in a long line of clones of ourselves. I believe we are so much more. I believe in each of us and the power that is contained in you being totally who you are. I don’t want people in my life who are able to sit quietly and successfully answer multiple questions on a test. I don’t care about the houses people live in or that they were once given the Governor’s General Award for the most conformed human being in the country. I care about people who are alive and who can talk to me about their connection to self and the journey they are on. I care about supporting others to be their best selves and to cherish the gift each of us brings to the table.
The only way to find that is to go within yourself and find YOU.
I can work with those people. I can problem solve with those people. These are the people that inspire me and push me to work harder, to trust myself more, to dig deeper.
A world full of switched on people who are living their truths and not just spewing out the rhetoric fed to them by their parents or community, is a world that is on fire. The power of people who feel, who are not afraid of failure because they understand it is a lesson and a more effective lesson than success can ever be, is awe inspiring. The power of people who will not be told to shut up or to sit still, who see things differently than the person sitting next to them, is the power to fix our broken world.
The house and car and vacations and money does not bring happiness and it is such a cheap substitute for a real life lived. Real connections with others, a life of experiences of service, creating, giving to others, is a life that has meaning both while the person lives and even after they are gone. Surrounding yourself with people who nod and smile and tell you what you want to hear, is not connection. Surrounding yourself with people who lie and pretend not to see anything out of place, is not something to envy. Where did we get to a place where we long to drink expensive champagne from crystal glasses as if that says something of value about who we are? How did we get to a place where THAT is the picture we can’t wait to post on our social media pages?
Where are the pictures of us living an authentic life, in the trenches, sweating and dirty, bleeding from the effort? Why is that not the most beautiful picture in the world that everyone “likes” instead of the one where our hair is perfect, our make-up in place and someone is holding a light so it shines just right for the picture? “Here world, here is what I am gifting you with, my self absorbed sense of self that I am beautiful.”
It is sad.
You are truly so much more than that.
Don’t believe the lies that “you” are bad and need to be contained and controlled. Don’t deny your own feelings and instincts. Don’t live your life in fear. Don’t limit your life with the fear based beliefs your parents handed to you because that is what they are. Life should be an invitation and not a threat of some horrible punishment. When we invite one another, we empower one another, and empowered people can change the world.
You can change the world.
Make the time to reconnect with your own inner self and rediscover the talent, the courage, and the wisdom. You were never meant to be small and contained. You are meant to be powerfully YOU in everything you do and it is because of the way you think and feel and process that we need your voice. There is not another human being like you.