I’ve grown up in a culture where it is not acceptable nor is it encouraged to listen to myself.
How can one know what is right for them…if they’ve not learned how to listen to themselves?
This is something I am actively practicing. Listening to, honoring, and respecting my own voice.
I have always had a strong sense of self. My intuition has always been clear, and I know what feels right for me. While this is a gift, it’s also been a challenge. There were times when my inner knowing conflicted with cultural norms and therein lies the rub.
Walking a different path has not been easy. I have been judged and criticized and condemned. Some people waited for me to fail because they were uncomfortable with my choices.
People called me difficult. They didn’t like my strong approach and viewed me as oppositional. They didn’t like the way I wasn’t conforming because it made them feel uncomfortable. I was labelled and shamed.
It’s been hard for me.
I am not oppositional. I am not difficult. I am not trying to challenge anything or anyone. I just have a strong sense of what I’ve felt I needed to do and sometimes that’s challenged the status quo.
This has been a tug-of-war in me. I desperately wanted to please others and be like everyone else…but I couldn’t always do that and I had to trust myself.
I am coming to a place of acceptance now. I realize I no longer want to pretend to be someone I’m not. I don’t want to justify myself. I don’t want to try to blend in or dim myself to make others feel comfortable.
I am listening to my inner voice – like I have most of my life – but I am embracing this part of me now instead of fearing the rejection of others.
I like who you are. You are always free to be “you” when you are with me. I am also down pretending. I like myself. It’s everyone else’s choice whether to like me or not. Celebrate your unique self, LJ. You are a beautiful gift to all of us.
So eloquently stated, a powerful message.Thanks for sharing.
damn. I couldn’t figure out how to edit after I posted. “down” should have been “done.’