The things we think and believe are often things we’ve been taught and have adapted as truths. Whether it’s religion, values, morals, ethics, etc., the ideas and thoughts that surround these topics are typically not our own.
As a child, most of us are taught the difference between right and wrong. Lying is bad, honesty is good. Having a job is good, not having one is bad. Following religious beliefs is good, sinning is bad. And the list goes on.
As we become older, most of us don’t question the things we’ve been taught and have believed for so long. But we should. It shows that we’re growing as individuals.
I had an aha moment while reading a book and it made me reflect on my life as a whole. It gave me a deeper understanding of why I’ve believed the things I have for so long, never questioning it, simply living by it because it’s all I’ve ever known. Until now.
Understanding that most, if not all, of our beliefs and thoughts come from someone else who, without a doubt, got them from someone else, led me to the conclusion that, for the most part, I haven’t been living for myself, but for others.
We all do it, whether we realize it or not. We don’t go for the creative, artsy job because of what our parents will think. We don’t choose that major because of what someone else will say. We don’t post that picture because of what the masses will say. We don’t date the people we actually want to date because we fear what everyone else will say.
It’s always about what everyone else will think.
I’m learning that this life is mine and no one else’s. Though suggestions are helpful, ultimately, the decision is mine. I am free to love who I love, pursue what I want to pursue, and believe what I want to believe.
I also understand that I cannot expect everyone else to accept what I choose to do. However, their acceptance and validation are not needed. I have to be able to stand up for what I believe in, what I want, what I feel, and what I think if I want someone else to see that it’s important to me.
I’ve spent a lot of time scaling back who I am to make other people comfortable. Going with what they wanted because it was easier than simply voicing my opinion.
I didn’t have a voice. I hadn’t found my voice. My voice to say this is me, this is what I want, and this is what I’m going after. But to also say this is subject to change because, at any given moment, I am allowed to change my mind, to evolve, to grow.
I’ve realized that the greatest power I had was and still is my voice, and utilizing it to speak my truth.