All you’ve ever wanted is to be yourself. But when you try to, you face condemnation or rejection from family, friends, co-workers, or peers. Sometimes it has felt like you’ve run into dozens of invisible electrical fences that have zapped you every time you’ve supposedly “gotten out of line.”
Perhaps you feel like you’re being punished just for being you. Or perhaps you struggle to understand who you are because everyone around you demands that you be someone else. You’re made to feel weird because people think that what comes natural to you is strange. Maybe you feel like you are living someone else’s dream instead of your own. You feel like you have to hide a big part of yourself in order to have peace in your life–but you don’t feel peaceful being someone you’re not. In any case you feel stuck in a box that doesn’t feel like home to you.
Perhaps that box you feel trapped in is the gender identity or sexual orientation that people around you tell you is “normal.” Maybe the box represents a religion you’ve been told is the “one true way,” with perhaps disastrous consequences if you stray. Perhaps it’s the desire to live a lifestyle different from that which you grew up in. Perhaps you want to take on a career that others tell you is a pipe dream. Perhaps you are a disabled person or an older person who isn’t given enough credit for the abilities you do have. Maybe it’s even a simple matter of dressing or wearing your hair differently than what you’ve been told is “acceptable.”
Some of this struggle is part of our evolution as human beings. We evolved because of our social nature and interdependence. Over ten thousand years ago, not being accepted by the tribe and being kicked out often literally meant death. Some anthropologists suggest that this has had a profound effect on our ability to disagree with others and stand out from the crowd, or, on the other hand, accept people and ideas that are different. For all of the talk of egalitarianism in our society, it seems like our worlds revolve around power dynamics that get in the way of listening, honest dialogue, and greater appreciation of differences.
Why is it other people’s business what you choose for your lifestyle, beliefs, gender expression, sexuality, the clothes you wear, and other personal decisions you make? Certainly, a minimal amount of conformity is necessary to get along and function with other people. But other people’s definitions of “normal” often far exceed what is necessary in order for people to mutually thrive and prosper.
I have spent almost all of my life navigating between other people’s expectations and my own truth. In part because of these experiences, I am a proud ally to the LGBTQIA+ community and people who are gender fluid or gender non-conforming. As a proud Pagan I understand the challenge of overcoming external and internal religious oppression. I have been growing my hair out for several years despite people insisting that long hair on men is somehow not appropriate or professional.
I can help you navigate what might be a tricky path to 1) identify what it means to be yourself, and 2) put the act of being yourself into practice. We can discuss what gets in the way of you being yourself. Perhaps those obstacles include trauma of influence from people with who have had profound power and influence in your life. We can look at those obstacles and find realistic ways to work around or overcome them.
To take the first step towards being the liberated self you want to be, fill in the contact form on the right side of this page or click the “contact me” button, briefly tell me about the challenges and barriers you face and any other help you might need.
I absolutely love working with people who march to a different drummer! While it is a tricky path to march along, the world needs more people willing to step outside the box to open new possibilities for all of us.