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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Releasing Inhibitions and Becoming Comfortable

Are you holding back? Shrinking down? Dimming your light? Trying to fit in where you don’t belong? That’s just the way of life. Or is it not?

There is truth in the saying that, to survive, one must adapt. But this isn’t always the case. You may be giving up too soon by choosing to appease an environment instead of taking up space in it or, if that cannot be done or is not worthwhile, finding or building ones that allow you to better exist. Where you can be yourself while still on the road to improvement.

It can be difficult to begin, however, especially if you happen to be relatively unusual as a person or ironically ended up surrounded by people significantly different from you, where you’re not quite understood or appreciated and expectations are placed upon you that stifle you. You may have become extremely self-conscious, filled with shame and guilt, over things that might not be as big of a deal as they were made out to be.

Maybe you became your own worst critic, too. By internalizing harsh and undue criticisms that came your way. It is as if they repeat themselves over and over again. And now you find yourself needlessly worried or even hating yourself. And maybe a part of you still knows that they shouldn’t be given such importance. Yet, people do. So, consequently, they matter.

But that’s the thing. It is on you to advocate for yourself - continually. Because you will keep encountering people that, whether out of ignorance or malice, will find fault in you over trivial or even valuable things. You can respond, out loud or in silence, depending on what’s most favorable, with the facts. There is somebody claiming that you’re too this or too that? That’s their view, influenced by their interests and preferences, perhaps their prejudices too. It isn’t necessarily correct or close to an objective reality. And maybe you are, a bit too this or too that. But then, so what? Is it really such a problem?

If traits and aspects of you are indeed a problem that should be solved or fixed, that is for you to recognize and tend to within your means, at a reasonable pace that you can adopt. Everything else is what makes you, you. And you’d be depriving those that seek or yearn for somebody like you by hiding and suppressing yourself.

To genuinely resonate and connect with others, you must drop the act. Not everybody will like and welcome the real you but, if it is a lost cause, that only redirects you to someone else that might. Furthermore, by allowing yourself to simply be, you give others permission to do the same. And soon enough, you’ve contributed to forming an atmosphere of authentic expression, where you can feel free and relaxed.

There are those that demand “perfection” to a suffocating degree. That may change or not. But then there are those that are immensely relieved where “imperfections” have room to be.