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How many molds have you forced yourself into throughout your life?
In life, we are malleable beings. We change. We evolve. We grow. But how many times throughout your life have you forced a change that wasn’t meant to be, just to fit in?
From a young age we are told what we should and shouldn’t do with our bodies, our words, and our lives. Do this; not that. No, this. No, that. The overwhelming discombobulation that comes from the noise of the opinions of others makes a compass question which way true north is. It’s sad, confusing, and surprising to think that this is a reality many people face.
Here are just a few of the things I have been told in my life on how I should change myself:
- You should eat more
- Wow, I can’t believe you eat THAT much?
- You look good without makeup
- You should tint your eyelashes
- You have nice eyebrows naturally
- Why don’t you tweeze and wax your eyebrows?
- You are lazy
- You never sit still
- You should dress how you feel comfortable
- I know you don’t like wearing this but you look so good in it so maybe you should
My list could go on and on and on. And I know I am not the only person who has a list. These lists we carry with us, try as we might to ignore them, do have some impact on our choices. Not every day necessarily, but they do. I can hear the voices that said these things to me. I can see their faces. I remember how the comments made me feel.
The person speaking these things may not even realize what they are saying is having an impact on you. I am sure I have said things to people that I didn’t mean to affect them in the way the words did (hi mom I always seem to speak to you wrong but it is probably because I know you won’t hate me). People don’t understand how saying something about your appearance or choices in life can really affect the way you feel about them.
For example I will describe a scenario that has happened before. Someone who is struggling with body image issues starts to not eat so much so that their body starts to change. As their body gets smaller they start to get compliments from people saying that they look great and that those people wish they looked like them. What those people don’t know is this person is starving themselves and judges their worth on the words of others. As their gravitational pull lessons, the mean voices in their head get worse and the outside praise is heightened (for those of you confused by this I am saying that as this person’s weight goes down, the voices in their head are getting worse and they are receiving praise from others for getting smaller).
There are many stories of how someone has continued to do something that felt untrue to who they are or something they knew would be unhealthy for their body because society and the people they love were telling them, intentionally or not, to continue down that path.
I am a person who has heard those outside voices and given in. I have tried to force myself into so many different molds over the course of my life that I have lost count. I thought I had to be what other people wanted me to be. I thought I had to look a certain way, dress a certain way, act a certain way, go about my life in a certain way.
One day I decided that I was not made to shove into a mold. I am not a piece of play-doh for others to shape as they wish. I am a human being who deserves to take up space on this Earth and to do what I feel is best for me and my life.
You will never please everyone and if there is one thing I have learned it is much better to be liked for the real you than to hide who you are and have people like a false you.
The burden of living for others isn’t mine to bear and it isn’t yours either.
Take a look at your life and see if you are living for yourself or others.
Are you being forced into a mold where you don’t belong?
Until next time,