Have you noticed the global quest for AUTHENTICITY happening in so many places and in so many people just as you are reading this? Perhaps you have been sensing it in yourself, too, and thinking of taking steps to create something more meaningful, more exciting and more authentic in your life? A lot of people choose to slow down these days, leaving jobs they were not happy with, moving houses, re-branding businesses, leaving relationships that lack love, joy and constructive dialogue...
They are searching for more meaning in their lives and you know what? Quite a good number of them no longer prioritise being in a relationship before they are comfortable with who they are HERE and NOW.
They accept that the feeling of loneliness is a natural state of a human being (felt even when you are in a relationship) and no longer something bad to escape from. The time with yourself is where you can meet the core of who you are when no-one is looking and with no need to make yourself prettier, more intelligent or thinner than you are NOW. There's always a scope for change when you want or are ready to invite it to your life.
Whenever you are feeling untrue to yourself, but do something to please others, so they shut up and/or admire you, what do you really choose? It could be e.g. saying 'yes' to someone's request when you are really exhausted, instead of honestly and respectfully saying that you're too tired to even think and suggesting a different date.
It could be getting married because your family/community expects you or puts pressure on you to do so even if you feel you haven't had the time to figure out what's really important for you yet. You end up marrying someone feeling empty inside and knowing that you are cheating on yourself.
It could be continuing to work for an authoritarian boss who would not listen to your ideas, explain new projects or support you in any way wanting you at work 24/7 and expecting 100% performance all the time, not seeing an fellow human being in you.
Another example could be working with a manager or colleague who bullies you and keeping quiet about it because you are worried you'd be fired.
So you carry on working because you SHOULD earn money to pay your bills and you don't believe you'd be able to find something better and more fulfilling.
Or you trained in a profession which was your mother's/father's/whoever's dream but now you can see clearly it's not even close to what makes you feel happy, fulfilled and alive.
I could give you a lot more examples, but I bet you know what I'm talking about.
A lot of what happens in your life is a reflection of what you believe is true about YOU and of what you feel you DESERVE as a result of your opinion about yourself.
Following the external 'should's is not only cheating on your VERY self, but it could be a 'useful' way to distract you from what you don't want or are not ready to face about yourself here and now.
No need to be too hard on yourself. This is when mindfulness can be really supportive. Stop and see the reality AS IS. Avoid going into your judgemental mode. Check
- what the situation you are in now is teaching you,
- how important is what you are gaining(by choosing to act in a certain way) and
- what you are avoiding (by acting the way you have acted so far).
Then see how you could react differently in similar situations, so you don't compromise your inner peace and integrity.
Don't expect to change everything at once. Initially it is more than enough to notice what your body reactions are whenever you're acting against yourself. Take notes. Start a learning journal to track your progress.
Fingers crossed for your well-being!