Have you ever sat back and pondered why we live under certain labels and expectations? We were born into a world that, depending on the generation, has certain standards that dictate to us who we should be and how we are expected to preform. Why do we struggle to release ourselves from these pressures? Is it because we are afraid of judgment from our peers? Or is it the fear of loneliness that may come from not feeling accepted by what other see as the “norm”? Perhaps, it is because we are raised to accept, without question the social conditioning, traditions, and views of the world that has been passed down to us through belief system that no longer serve a purpose? When we conform ourselves to these ideologies we can lose the essence of who we really are. We can find ourselves caged in any dogmas, with restrictions that are so narrow we find there is little to no freedom to express ourselves fully or authentically.
It can be intimating to stand up against the masses to challenge and question societal standards. One of the hardest labels I struggled to navigate was the one of “mother.” To be honest, when I became a mother for the first time I had no idea what I was doing. I was drowning in a list of things I thought I should or shouldn’t do. Pressures from every angle made me feel like I was walking on a bed of egg shells all the time. One person would suggest I breastfed for a year but not longer or it was deemed inappropriate. Another would say, “Don’t use cloth diapers it’s disgusting .” And don’t get me start on the vaccination debate. I felt so much pressure under this new title of “mom” that I lost the true essence of who I was. These new expectations brought with them unattainable standards. A new mom at 23, I felt lost and confused. It took me years before I finally threw up my arms up in the air in a gesture of defeat and accepted I was no label. I was just me and that was going to have to do. As my confidence grew I decided to do things differently. It took twice the amount of time to rediscover myself as it took to lose myself in the first place: it’s so easy to lose ourselves in darkness, after surrendering our authenticity and individuality.
We have all felt pressures under various labels of parent, spouse, or specific gender. Freeing ourselves from these constraints can be scary but more so, empowering. I believe the more authentic you are the more others appreciate your truth. ” March to the beat of your own drum.” as the quote goes. Find the strength and confidence to be yourself and let your truth shine through. It is when we free ourselves that we find a place of pure intention. A place free of judgements and stereotypes. A place where we are allowed to blossom into the person we are meant to be. Isn’t it time we all allow ourselves the permission to follow our OWN true path?