In my recent journey, I have encountered many individuals who suffered from external values. I have been challenged with this too. At first, I thought it was the cultural implications from my parents. Through this journey, I realised it was beyond cultural implications. It happens regardless of culture or gender. It can happen in any situation.
As you know like attracts like, if you want better people in your life, you must work on being a better person yourself.Leon Brown
Not surprisingly, I was one of them who have been challenged by enforced external values about me. At one stage of my life, well until recently, I was so destructed by such values. What is appropriate clothing when you are meeting with your grandparents; How to behave when you are with your relatives; What to learn from listening to negative comments about others; What do you need to academically achieve as the first child etc. Yes. My whole life evolved around all these what I perceived as ‘enforced external values’.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.Ralph Waldo Emerson
After finding myself, it wasn’t easy to reveal my true self to people around me. Well, some people share my transition journey with me so they were fast adapters to my true self. I felt others struggled. I felt my parents struggled with my new boundaries. They tried to renegotiate my new boundaries and tried to manipulate me to who I used to be. When they realised this was irreversible, they gradually started to accept who I truly am.
Sometime I feel like giving in. It was easier for me to be who I used to be than fighting my way through to reveal my true self. It was easier to do what I used to do, to act in the way I used to act, and listen and live as according to others’ values and expectations. Every time when I was so close to giving in I had to remind myself. “You have been there. You tried to just live like a doll. You tried to suppress yourself and feelings, tried to be best you can as according to their values and expectations. You know that won’t work. Listen to your heart. What do you want to do?“
When I made decision based on my heart, even the end result wasn’t my preference, I had no feelings other than accomplishment. More I practice this, more I feel I am standing strong on the ground. More I feel secure to reveal myself, more I feel I am celebrating my accomplishment. More I celebrate, more I feel I am stronger because the sameness of my heart and action based on my heart.
Our future self does not exist in some far-off place; it exists in the heart and mind of our present self.
That is why we must face and tackle the realities that confront us.Daisaku Ikeda
Are you making decisions based on your heart?
What is your greatest accomplishment?
How are you celebrating your true self?