You become free when you burn the checklists that others create for you
Remember when you were a kid? You did whatever the hell you wanted to do. You played games, laughed uncontrollably, fought, made friends, built things, created art, and had a childlike curiosity about things.
As we grew up, we slowly started losing a bit of ourselves every day.
One day we were hushed and asked not to laugh “too loudly.” Other days we were asked to stop asking too many questions or to stop playing and spend our time studying for hours with the hope of becoming financially secure. And nobody set a limit of how “financially secure.”
Our smiles slowly turned into frowns, and the baggage of everyone’s expectations drooped us and made it hard even to get up some days.
Why do we choose to lead our lives this way? Why do we surrender our leash to someone else?
I was born an Empathic, old soul. Ever since I was a kid, I knew that I was different (like every being). I scavenged for any opportunities to help others. I was shy even to admit that I wanted to help others because it was such a taboo. But I loved it and kept doing it.
As I started growing up, I was deafened by society’s noises like most of us. I joined the rat race to be №1 in school, started competing with others, and lost sight of who I really was. I lost any sense of curiosity and went into things I was least interested in.
I often found myself convincing my inner self that this is what we were “supposed” to do.
Marry by 25, have kids by 27, buy a house, find suitable schools for the kid, go on vacations once a year, hustle, toil, gather a debt, and then one day, die. Everywhere I turned, there were “inspiring” and “motivating” influencers who told me to get up at 5 AM, work hard, hustle, and make money.
I was an early riser and toiled my way through college and work. But something in me didn’t feel complete. Everything just felt off and a part of me was slowly dying. I did get glimpses of my true self on certain occasions. Something in my head prompted me to serve the underprivileged or talk to people about sexism/feminism. But my authentic self was still buried deep. I felt like a robot.
I always thought to myself, “This can’t be the only reason we came to Earth.” We ought to have a bigger purpose — something as big as Self-trust or Cultivating Patience or service to others.
It was challenging to “find ourselves” when we were so drowned in the rat race and had no time left after completing the tasks others ordered us to do. I had to change my life to really know myself.
I started making massive shifts. The shifts were provocative, and while many were inspired, most looked at me with eyes of judgment.
People who cared were concerned. People who cared were also supportive. I could notice the entire spectrum.
The massive changes made me see the side of people that I could never envision when I was busy running. You could see people dumping their insecurities and fear on you. You could see some making excuses. You could also see people who felt a spark of their true, most authentic self and were brave enough to pull down their own curtains. It was a beautiful dance of different colors.
[There is no judgment here. I am not the person I was ten years or even a week back. Each one of us has a unique path to follow, and we are all evolving with time.]
But what inspired me the most was people’s willingness to look beyond the social norms. To look beyond the rules that someone set for them.
It was something as simple as changing your “cultural” food habits, changing your sleeping patterns by accepting your chronotype, changing your jobs and joining something that inspired you, not choosing to have a child if that’s what the heart said, taking a year off at the age of 30, or just going on a spiritual journey in your 20s and 30s.
The things that once made most people in my life shake with fear, I could see people actually doing it.
As for me, I can now slowly see my own self in the mirror. I often look at myself and say, “Welcome back, kid.”
I still have kilometers to go in terms of growth but isn’t that the fun part? Slowly peeling the external notions and learning something new every day. Learning something new about your body, mind, and your soul.
I realized that the only way I could ever be myself was by burning the checklists that others so easily (and forcefully) created for me without my consent. I was responsible for taking my power back, nobody else!
Check out my YouTube channel for inspiring videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBfUxVSxC0koxGSkwzVRYzQ