What if I said all you need to do is let yourself exist?
Um, hello, I’m already here reading this. How am I not existing?
Listen. We are not taught anything about our brains. As we grow, we learn to change or avoid pieces of ourselves because that’s what everyone does. We try to shrink and reshape ourselves to be normal, and although we fail at fitting in, we succeed in minimizing our selves. As the years pass we lose any connection to who we are in the world. Eventually we can’t tell the difference between our voice and everyone else’s. We are shadows of ourselves.
We linger at the edges of our lives, never fully stepping into them, haunting ourselves while we wait for things to change.
You will wait forever. I know, deep down, that’s what your afraid of. I was afraid, too.
Knowing who we are is required in order for us to function as whole people. Most of us have never taken the time to do it. Most of use don’t even know what it means. We just have a vague idea that’s more confusing than anything.
As a society we sort of skip over that part. We don’t teach our children because we weren’t taught. It makes sense that we feel so separated from our emotional selves. A lot of us can’t even get to “just OK.” How can we expect true connection to anything in the world, when we have no sense of self?
Knowing ourselves is what it means to be alive. It liberates us. We can start to exist, maybe for the first time.
We think we have no control and that life just happens because that’s what we’re told. This belief contributes to our disconnection. We focus on the voice we think we should have while muffling our true one. We let ourselves wilt inside like a neglected house plant, because as women, we are raised with expectations that put us in conflict with ourselves from our first breath. We are a society obsessed with being validated by others, and we put ourselves on pause until we achieve it.
The need for acceptance is instinctual. It is deeply ingrained in us, after thousands of years of evolving as a tribal species, and then reinforced by our modern social standards. This is why most of us have reached adulthood without existing. Most of us have no idea who we are.
We don’t know how to be.