As spiritual beings having a human experience, we are meant to evolve. We were never intended to be stagnant. We are energy after all.
So it’s ironic when we hear things like, “You’ve changed!” or “I don’t even know who you are anymore.” Well in fact you might not [know me anymore] if you haven’t been paying attention.
This isn’t solely about me. I know many hear those words at some point, and especially if they’re doing personal development. At the root of these comments lies the act of comparison. What’s that old saying? Comparison is the thief of joy. (a Theodore Roosevelt quote). Comparison to others is embedded in us. It’s part of our conditioning. I’m guilty of it as well. Comparison and competition are born of a societal conditioned mindset rooted in lack - that happiness, success, abundance is finite; that it’s a pie that only serves so many. That only “other people” get to realize their dreams.
On the contrary, there is space for ALL of us to step into who we are; to step into who we came here to be. There is more than enough “room” for all of us to step into the fullness of who we are and to stop playing small just so that others won’t feel less-than. Our natural state of being does not rest on a binary of inferiority / superiority (society created that), but instead it was intended to be an open for us all to simply just “be”. We all have something unique to offer - our unique gifts- that’s meant to be shared with the world. And we all benefit when we are all being ourselves rather than playing a part or role we think we need to play for everyone else to be content; for everyone else’s approval.
The space of lack also keeps us in that exact space: playing to others’ approval. Looking to see if it is “okay” if we expand/evolve or not. Once I opened up to the reality that those concepts of success, happiness and abundance are not only INFINITE but our birthright; that there’s enough for everyone, and then some... it then becomes self-limiting to worry about other’s perceptions of me. That is really none of my business; that is their task, not mine. Because the conditioning runs deep, it’s always a work in progress, but I have worked hard to untangle myself from buying into the patriarchal ideas that perpetuate self-hatred: that I should hate my body, or feel silly if I speak out or express myself against the social “norm”, or that I’m a complete failure if I f*ck it up once in a while.
We are not here to meet other people’s expectations at the cost of abandoning ourselves. That’s not to give carte blanche to be reckless with other people’s feelings or emotions either. It’s balance of being true to myself - of us all being true to ourselves - and applying boundaries around that, which allows us all to be more fully present in all of our relationships... to see and be seen; to listen and be heard; to love and be loved.
Giving ourselves permission to let go of the burden of those external expectations and stories of who we are, or how we show up... it’s the most liberating feeling - for me to just be ME or for you to just be YOU. Imagine how others can be inspired to do the same.
This is one of the ways we can start to re-write those old stories we have carried that might have been clouded with other people’s visions of who we should be, and in turn create a more beautiful world. ✧