Give Yourself Freedom

Who Dares Lives

Who Dares Lives

I know this person…

…okay, that’s not entirely accurate. I know several people like this. But for the purposes of this post, we’ll just clump them all together under one, okay? Bear with me.

I know this person. She’s amazing. She’s got a compassionate soul, depth of character, an inquisitive mind, a great laugh, and is a pretty awesome individual.

The problem is, unless you have the time and patience to uncover that awesome person, you’d never see it. Because it’s hidden away behind some facade that society helped create. And in some ways, it’s a veritable brick wall that no one could ever really climb unless they invested hundreds of hours trying to scale it. This person conceals herself partly as a means of protection and partly because this is what she thinks society expects of her.

Society, after all, is very good at telling us all how we *ought* to act, behave, acquire, obtain, and dream. Mass media commercialization, Hollywood movies, music, friends, family, each one contributes to this image we have of ourselves. This is how were supposed to be when we’re a teenager. This is how we’re supposed to be in college. This is how we’re supposed to be once we’re married. This is how we’re supposed to raise our kids. This is what married couples in the suburbs do. This is acceptable. This is not.

As a result of all that bombardment, we lose who we truly are. We forget who we used to be. We dismiss what makes us laugh and what our dreams actually are. If it’s not popular in society, we somehow think that we’re abnormal or unusual or downright strange. So we conceal those aspects of ourselves. And that’s unfortunate, because those aspects are usually the very things that bring us the most pleasure and enjoyment from life.

No one likes to be thought of as weird. Especially by our peers. They might mock us, or talk about us behind our back. We don’t want to be the topic of conversation in that way. So we tend to put up walls and only show those aspects of ourselves that society approves of. It’s only when we’re relaxed with close friends that we trust, or over a few drinks, that we let our guard down and say what we really feel. What we truly desire. What we actually hope for.

The problem with living like this is it robs us of the ability to enjoy life as it happens. If we spend all of our time worried about what others think or whether our actions meet with the approval of the Smiths living down the block, or Sandy and Janey at the Tupperware party, then we never really know how to appreciate the spontaneity of life. We’re not being honest about living. We’re faking it to live up to the expectations of others.

But what about our own innermost expectations? What about that inner fire that we all have burning deep within our souls? That fire needs to be nurtured, not impeded.

Let it out.

Give yourself the freedom to be who you really are. Laugh at inappropriate jokes. Tell the world your dreams. Try something utterly crazy just because it intrigues you.

Stop caring what society deems acceptable. Stop giving a shit what other people think. Be who you really are – genuine, awesome, unique, and caring. We all have so much to offer the world, so much to enhance the experience of life for ourselves and others. Don’t quash that by putting yourself in a prison of someone else’s construct.

After all, the ideal life isn’t one that you submit for approval by some neighbor or some Madison Avenue ideal. It’s the one that fills you with happiness and memories and growth. It’s the one that brings a smile to your face when you think back to everything you experienced; it’s the one that your kids talk about to their kids; it’s the one the leaves others admiring and respecting you for having the courage to live your own way and walk your own path.

Freedom is there right in front of you.

But only if you truly want it. And only if you stop caring what others think.

It’s a bold move for a lot of people. It’s scary, too, when you start. And it definitely takes practice to get comfortable with not minding the odd looks or commentary from others too scared to live without fear of criticism.

You can do it, though.

Start today, in fact. Smile more. Joke around. Put your arm around someone you like and give them a squeeze.

Just because.

Just because you feel like it.

Just because you care.

Just because you can.

Live your life the way you want to live it. It’s yours, after all. It belongs to you and you alone. And the only person you owe any explanation to is yourself. Tomorrow is promised to no one. Your life isn’t guaranteed beyond your next breath, so live with honesty and brilliant fervor for what makes you happy. Be passionate about who you are. Be unafraid in your pursuit of an awesome life.

Get after it. You’ll be glad you did!

And by the way, the person described in this post? Yeah, that was me, too…”was” being the operative word.

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