How do you decide to do something when you know that everyone around you will judge you for your decision? Even if you know in your heart of hearts it is what you need to do, fighting the voices of the “others” will always be difficult. They make you second guess, fear, flounder, and fumble through your thoughts. And so we remain in a job, relationship, city, or lifestyle that isn’t right for us for longer than we should because we are scared of what the “others” will say or how they will react.
This is what we call being “affected”. Don’t worry, you are not defective, quite the opposite, you are aware, and your impaired mental state is more than likely due to the pressures that current culture and social media have placed on virtually every aspect of our lives.
Think about it like this:
How many times have you said to someone or has someone said to you, “Oh my gosh! How are we not friends on Facebook!? I’m adding you right now! Then we will be real friends.”
Or, “Are you guys Facebook Official? Because if you aren’t that means he (she) really isn’t that into you. I mean, if you two aren’t together on Facebook are you really together?”
Or when telling a friend of a major occurrence in your life they brush past it while staring at the screen on their phone by saying, “Oh I know. I saw it on Facebook.”
You feel the pressure of 700 eyes boring into your skull as you work through every life choice. “If I do A then X person will be upset, but if I don’t do it than Z person will be disappointed.”
Our thoughts ricochet, every reverberation causing a crack to form in our once solid foundation of thought. We become worn down, worn thin, and often times we give up before we can ever get started.
A dear friend of mine was going through a period in her life where she needed to make a lot of decisions about the course her life would take. Her spirit was raging inside as she played the game according to social expectation. We recently had a heart to heart where I told her, no matter what, I would stand by whatever she decided to do in love and not judgement. To me this seemed obvious, I am her friend, and will support her, however, the words nearly brought tears to her eyes, it released the pressure, loosened the fear. It didn’t make her choice any easier, per-say, but it did give her a little piece of hope that maybe others in her life would feel the same.
In the end, she made the hard move, played her cards against the better judgement of those around her, but she found peace. The chaos in her spirit has calmed and she can hear the leading of her own heart again.
Listening to our own inner voice is difficult in and of itself, but trying to listen when you have the voices of many blaring through your conscious is even harder. Learning to tune them out and trust yourself is a practice worth pursuing. I am still learning that as a person and now as a married person. I am my own woman, Drew does not define me, he does not think for me. Yes, we make decisions together, but I can not rely on him to think for me, it’s not his job, nor is it mine to control or manipulate his thoughts (woman are pro-manipulators, it is both a blessing and a curse and should be used for good and not evil… much like magic). The challenge is letting go, trusting myself, and learning to find my voice among the noise.
Dear reader take heart. Find peace. Be still and know…