Updated: Sep 15, 2020
A lot of people speak of freedom as independence from others – when really,
freedom is the ability to live as our authentic selves. What if I told you that since the day you were born, you’ve been being conditioned to be the version of yourself that others are most comfortable with? The things that you fear, the things that you are insecure about, the anxiety you experience…all have nothing to do with you. Who you are at your soul level is loving, free, empowered & purely joyful - there is no fear, no insecurity, no anxiety, etc.
So, what happens to us?
The short answer: people.
We grow up around other humans who have been conditioned to be the versions of themselves that society deems acceptable. We are given a set of standards that we are dying (literally) to live up to, but that we never stop to question. We are told what is best for us; how we should look, how we should act, how much money we should have…and then, we are told that not living up to said standard equals a failed existence.
It’s no one’s fault, it’s a story that has been invented and reinvented by man for many centuries.
Let's break down some of the societal norms that we accept and abide by so you can see for yourself:
The notion of ‘good behavior’ or modern-day etiquette originally began as a way to keep societal order and to teach ancient Egyptians how to best serve their masters.
Today’s conventional schooling exists because working children were required to learn lessons of, ‘obedience, suppression of their own will and show of reverence towards lords & masters’.
The undisputed ‘regular’ workday was put in place so that people could work longer hours in factories and the term 9-5 was often negatively used to describe a, ‘tedious or unremarkable occupation’.
The word, “fuck”, is of German origin and means, ‘to strike’ or to ‘move back and forth’ and it wasn’t a taboo until a monk wrote it out as a way to describe his abbot (we still don’t know whether or not it was meant to be derogatory).
Being overweight was considered beautiful and ideal until 1840 when a Presbyterian Minister began advocating a plain diet for women because, ‘spices, stimulants and other overindulgences lead to indigestion, sexual excess & civil disorder’.
So why are we so beholden to these archaic norms (especially when they are quite literally just made up)? One article that I read even went as far as to say that, ‘a rebellious spirit could well result in death’.
Perhaps because it's 'easier' being told what to do or that we are afraid of the
consequences that a rebellious spirit evokes.
Perhaps it is that we are willing to settle for, 'the way things always been done', or that we don't have a choice in the matter.
The good news is; you always have a choice.
This is your life & if you are content with being 'suppressed' and 'obedient' to your 'master' to maintain 'order, then ignore this & carry on.
If you are like me and aren't thrilled by being 'unremarkable' and don't really give a fuck what a minister from the 19th century says about your body, it's time to consciously rebel.
This isn't about overturning the government or abandoning your good manners (please continue to chew with your mouth closed), this is about disrupting your system enough that you begin to live in your truth.
THE TRUTH IS:
You're saying, 'sorry' all the time because you feel like you're taking up too much space...you're not.
Disliking school is okay, dropping out of school is okay, not working a 9-5 is okay.
Swearing doesn't make you a bad person, neither does overindulging.
Not being a size two doesn't mean you aren't beautiful, just as not having a six pack doesn't
mean you aren't handsome.
Living a life that people don't understand, doesn't mean you're doing it wrong -
in fact, it probably means that you're pretty remarkable.
Here’s a question for you: who is your master? Who is it that you are being obedient to?
Are you suppressing your spirit to maintain order in your world?
Here’s a bigger question for you: what would your life look like if your soul was your master? What would it feel like for you to listen to and obey your intrinsic needs? What would it be like to allow your spirit to rebel against what you have been told is right for you and to actually do what is right for you?
While you’ve been looking to the external world to make sense of your life, you’ve had the answers internally,
the whole time.
It was never about finding yourself; it’s about returning to yourself.
Devyn Penney is a certified life & intimacy coach and the author of, "Mastering the Art of Internal Intimacy". This blog is dedicated to ending small talk by having Big Conversations, "the only way we connect is through love, empathy and an open line of communication".