Inside of a Box

Conformity:

An act of conforming; to behave in a way that is accepted by most people; to do what other people do

Color inside of the lines.  Jump on the bandwagon.  Go by the book.  Play the game.  Obey the rules. Follow the crowd.  Toe the line.  Roll with the punches. Run with the pack.  Don’t make waves.  Don’t rock the boat.

We learn to conform at a young age.  We are taught to silence our unpopular thoughts and beliefs and adapt to the pack.  We are taught not to seek new ways of doing life.  What arises from learning to live in such a tiny oxygen deprived box is a shell of a person.  A walking zombie.  Someone who has learned to just go through the motions.  Live life on everyone else’s terms and expectations. Wave the white flag, surrender.

That was me.  Years and years of wearing a mask, hiding my true self, fearful of consequences, criticism and opinions.  Downplaying my passions, dreams, aspirations…afraid of disappointing “them” (can anyone tell me who these people are?)..withering away on the inside.  I had learned to restrict myself, restrain myself in hopes of pleasing the invisible judgmental group of people that resided in my head who-always-got-it-right (how I hated those people!).  I had learned to dismiss the few compliments and encouraging words I received about my creative skills when I allowed a small peek inside of my private world.  A pre-recorded repetitious record of negative thoughts would play in my subconscious anytime I felt a jolt of freedom, or joy, or smidgen of happiness.

Change, real-life-shifting-courage-needed-change, cannot occur without a catalyst.  Catalysts precipitate change and can be disguised in an array of costumes…a job loss, death of a loved one or pet, the end of a relationship, financial difficulty… which may lead you to do quite a bit of soul searching and look for some significance, some meaning in your life.  You will question everything…God (or whatever higher power you believe in) and everyone.  You will, at times, question your own sanity and rational thinking.  And all that you are made of will want to quit. Give up…die…remain a zombie because well, it’s just easier.  The thing is you can’t quit because change is occurring.  You have to keep going, keep fighting, and keep pushing.  You owe this to yourself, your authentic self.  Understand you are slowly being released from your prison.  It just doesn’t feel like it because you are in the process of change.  Yes, it is a process.  But it is manageable and purposeful.  And necessary.  Teach yourself to remove the periods placed in your life and instead insert commas.  A period signifies the finality of a thing while a comma suggests there is more to expect because it will get better.  Vow to continue living and allow yourself the room and self compassion to experience the fullness of change.

What makes me so qualified to speak on this? Because I, like you, was once a rider on the transition rollercoaster (I still am).  And like the Phoenix that rises from burnt ashes, I have been revived.  The fire didn’t consume me…it was never meant to…its purpose was to give birth to the powerfully free creature that is me.  Your Phoenix experience awaits you, what will you do with it?

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