Living life according to someone else’s rules can be a real mind f**k, especially when you didn’t even realize you were doing it. From a young age, we are given rules, beliefs, and expectations. As women 40 & 50+, we are still given rules, beliefs, and expectations. Depending on how you accept or reject these ideologies, you are either praised or chastised.
Now, I realize it’s not this black and white, there are many shades of gray and some rules are designed to keep us safe or free from harm. But have you ever stopped to think how much of who you are today is inherited versus inherent? Is the life you are living right now, in this moment, based on those handed down beliefs and expectations by family, society, ethnic culture, peers or are they your own? Do all the rules you abide by; beliefs you subscribe to or praise you seek serve the true essence of the woman that looks back at you in the mirror?
Unequivocally, I can say no. You?
How many times have we:
Contorted our bodies, minds and very souls to fit into someone’s else’s idea of what we should be? Let our dreams or desires fade so we could be the good wife, good mom, good woman, or team player? Downplayed our accomplishments because celebrating them would be bragging and offensive to others? Screamed and wept in silence because we knew the life we were/are living isn’t ours?
Breathe. You’re not the only one.
And to think, this unpacks a smidge of the baggage we’ve accumulated up to this point! And now, we find ourselves at yet another crossroads. We either take on more baggage because of our age or we choose to lighten the load and push back on the world and the version of our self telling us we are not good enough as is.
Let’s put this into perspective. There are 7.8 billion people currently living in the world, and you are the only one living your life based on your unique circumstances. Let that sink in. You are an original. There is no one like you on this earth!
Yet, we continue to live cookie cutter lives and give others the power to tell us how to live. We hide our true selves. We contort to fit the good woman mold. We (fill in the blank).
Breathe. You’re not the only one.
We all have succumbed to these pressures. Indulge me for a moment. What if, one day you chose to listen to the most inner depths of you, the place that Glennon Doyle in her new book Untamed calls The Knowing. What would she tell you? Would you dare to listen?
You and only you have the answers to live your greatest, truest life. That potential, regardless if it’s rooted in God, spirituality, the universe, gratitude, or something else, is something that only you can unlock. We exist not to live a cookie cutter life. We exist to live our life, however messy or imperfect, in full color.
Heed the call.
The time is now to shed outdated guidelines, beliefs or expectations that no longer serve you.
The time is now to reconnect with your true essence and invite that woman out from the shadows.
The time is now to throw away the box that confines and live life from the inside out.
The time is now to…
Perhaps a good starting point is this excerpt from Untamed.
I trust myself to have my own back, so my allegiance is to the voice within. I’ll abandon everyone else’s expectations of me before I’ll abandon myself. I’ll disappoint everyone else before I’ll disappoint myself. I’ll forsake all others before I’ll forsake myself. My and myself: We are till death do us part.
Today is the perfect day to choose YOU. How will you accomplish that today?
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