Why do we have such a hard time being ourselves?

Everyone wants us to be something or someone else instead of allowing our true selves to emerge and shine. Where does the fear come from that we think we know better for others than they do for themselves?

In our society it is discouraged for an individual to choose happiness if by that choice someone else’s life is affected. For example a parent of a child that has hopes of them becoming a lawyer or a doctor; the child is pressured to please the parent because that is what we are sometimes guided to do.

Ever since I was a little girl I loved being myself in many areas of my life. It is not until the recent years that I have realized how much my I benefited by this. Even when those around me questioned my choices or desires, I continued with abandonment knowing that this was my path and my life, not theirs. Of course not all of my choices were good ones, but they came from me.

I can even remember feeling lots of pressure to have children. I always new that was not in the cards for me, but for some reason most people had a hard time understanding that. The questions and concerns that I received through the years have been interesting. “Won’t you be lonely when you are older?” “So why get married if you are not going to have kids?” “If you are not going to be a mother, what are you going to do, how will you feel fulfilled?”  On and on! That’s just about my decision not to have kids, I will not bore you with the many others that I chose to go against the norm let’s say!

The one piece that I did feel was some guilt; I at least thought I was able to have a child and who was I to not utilize this incredible gift. When other woman are devastated that they cannot bear their own children. Which was not pressure from others, just judgment of myself that I was blessed with this miracle, yet I inherently knew that this was not for me.

It took me many years to filter all of these feelings and questions. I compare in a way (I know on a different level, but stay with me) to that I am very good at sewing and creating all things with material. But I do not want to do this all the time. Even for years I am not interested, then pick it up for a quick project. Some people look at that and say to me, “but you are so talented what a waste of such a gift, I wish that I could do that because I would be doing this and this and this…”

When I started comparing other talents and gifts it put things in perspective to me. Just because we have been blessed with something does not mean that we must do it all the time or feel the pressure to use it. For that when you use a gift based on feeling pressure or guilt it no longer has the presence as a gift!

So my question is how many of us make decisions based on what we want, what other’s want, guilt or fear of disappointment? I think that sometimes this is hard to answer because we end up convincing ourselves  we made the move based on our own desire; but let’s all be honest for a minute. I was the odd duck in town, the rouge spitfire that never deterred my moves based on judgment or peer pressure (most of the time). Let’s face it I would not have quit drinking if I made my moves based on peer pressure! Many of those around me followed the path of the known and expected, I cannot help but ask myself how many of them are really living their life being themselves, living in their desires and dreams?

Please do not take me wrong here. You may be living the expected life and want this life, it being the life of your dreams. If this is the case than fantastic! You were one of the lucky ones that your desires matched what society desired as well; therefore not receiving any pressure or judgment only support and pride. But for those of you finding yourselves feeling frustrated, angry, dissatisfied or depressed in your life, ask yourself “Did I choose to be here or did I allow someone else to choose for me?”

I am talking about all areas in your life. It may be your job, school, even if it so happens to be taking care of someone. You have to be the one that chooses it, not made to feel bad or guilty if you do not. Decide out of LOVE. Living in resentment is not living. Living someone else’s or societies desires is not living. Living what you desire and what you are passionate about based on LOVE, now that’s living! By living your desires coming from a place of LOVE, you spread that energy to everyone you meet, they cannot help but have their own vibration lifted, it’s contagious!

So living your true desires coming from a place of LOVE not fear actually is one of the most beneficial ways to help others. So no more “I have to do this or I won’t feel like I am contributing enough”, “I should do this because it’s the right thing to do”, “I could have done that…” I will quote Kerry Tepedino here from her article “The Woulda, Shoulda, Couldas” If you find yourself saying any of these than you are not living from being yourself and your true desires! You are living out of FEAR and GUILT!

This is the part that I love! When you stop worrying about everyone else, putting everyone else first, pleasing your parents by becoming who they want you to be versus who you want to be! You actually start helping and making other’s happy by living your true purpose!

P.S. When I say about pleasing your parents, I am not just talking to the college students. I am talking to you of all ages even in your 80’s and beyond!

Are you living YOUR life?