I have spent a lot of time examining my belief systems and how and if they have benefited me. I have also seriously considered how and if they have damaged me. Sadly, for the most part, I have to side with the latter.
I have strong clear memories of the many times I was instructed not to do things because it was not what other people were doing. I am not speaking about setting fire to the family dog kind of things, but rather things that were expressions of who I was and harmed no-one like wanting to wear my green pants with an orange top. The only damage those types of things caused was to my family and their desire to fit in and to appear as “normal” as possible. Success was measured by how well you could do what everyone else was doing, as long as you did it in the same way everyone else was doing it. Life was one big chorus line where, to be perfect, you danced in sync with everyone else and never, ever, drew attention to yourself. I was to be assimilated, to be part of the whole and not an individual.
This, they assured me, was the path to true happiness.
It wasn’t. It never was and never will be.
The problem with trying to fit in and not being yourself is that you end up with people in your life who can and will destroy you. If I had just been myself there would not have been any ambiguity regarding our compatibility. Those people would have walked a wide circle around me and I would have been better off for it. Instead of spending so much time in complete pain, destroyed by the many unkindnesses from people who were never going to understand me, I might have found people who were actually capable of loving “me.”
Not because those people are bad people, or I am some precious snowflake, but because we both deserved the kind of love and friendship that actually was intended for our lives. Instead, we were all forced into a game of engaging one another simply because we paid the admittance price and once paid, everyone gets a ride. Continue reading