What are you going to be when you grow up ?
We get this question from the of age of around 4 or 5.
It sets us up for disappointment.
Like just being ourselves is not good enough.
You spend the rest of your life chasing your own shadow round corners and up mountains.
Forty year olds realising they don’t want to be doctors anymore.
What if the adults instead said to the wise children. “Welcome, I can’t wait to learn from you”.
What if there was no pressure on us “To Become Something”. Why do we have to be something?
Not everybody knows from the age of 5 what they want to be and so we spend much of our lives feeling like failures.
“I want to be a stay at home mother ” “I want to be an artist” “I want to be a swimming pool” (Me age 4), “I want to be dog walker ” These choices are yours and yours only to make, yet sometimes we may be ashamed to speak them out loud.
Our work is not our identity. Our heart, our behaviours towards others , our contribution to society in whatever capacity that may be is who we are. Not our latest promotion or job title.
Just because you can draw doesn’t mean you have to become an artist selling your pieces for thousands of dollars.
Just because you don’t know what you are good at doesn’t mean you are a failure.
Don’t let the fact that you will never be a best selling author stop you from doing what makes you feel more like you and not “what” you should be.
We don’t always have to be good at everything to get joy from it.
But if you are like me and you know ignoring that thing , that internal voice screaming louder and louder to be let out amongst the birds and the bees so much so that it makes you ill. Give yourself a break. Try it, let it out. It doesn’t have to be a success. Or what society will try and convince you a success is. What it has to be is a cure for you. For your body knows this, but sometimes shame from what we didn’t do, paralyses us. Stunts our growth. Makes us forget the dreams we had of being a warm, blue refreshing swimming pool.
Until we are awoken by a midlife crisis and we find the courage to return to that wisdom of the 4 year old being , who knew who she was but thought that she had to “Be Something other than herself”
Being Yourself takes courage and hard work and achievement and a great deal of self love. Because we are constantly thrown into places from a young age where being ourselves is dumbed down and seen as disruptive. Yet allowing someone to get to know themselves intimately, their light and dark for we all have Yin and Yang makes for an enlightened society and not one in which parts of us must be suppressed with guilt and shame because we couldn’t sit quietly on the mat at school.
“First do no harm”.
Then allow to live and let live.
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