The weight of people’s judgements can feel heavy.
I have been feeling this weight the last few weeks.
If you choose to follow a path that is against society’s norm, it can at times be a challenging one.
As a family, we have in recent years, made some decisions that do not necessarily coincide with what society views as ‘normal’. Or what some friends, family and colleagues would see as normal, or even acceptable.
But, however hard it has felt recently, I know that the alternative is worse. I could have ignored my gut instincts, disregarded my core values, slotted into the system, and made my life a little easier. But deep down, I knew this would eventually eat away at me.
At school, I would feel torn, desperate to fit in, but at the same time, stubbornly refusing to conform. It was confusing and caused me much sadness at times. No matter how hard I tried, I could not be something I was not. And when I would try to fit in, to be more like my peers, keep my opinions to myself, conversely, I ended up feeling lonelier than ever.
As I have aged, I have grown more in confidence, although I still have a long way to go. I will find myself at times keeping quiet, shrinking into the background, trying not to take up too much space, time. Keeping the peace, smiling and letting it go. I used to get angry at myself for doing this – why didn’t I say what was on my mind? Now, I try to be a little kinder to myself. I’m a work in progress (as we all are), and sometimes, keeping the peace is not so bad. As long as I know my truth, and I carry this throughout my day to day life, that is the main thing.
In the book ‘Speak Your Truth’ (2021), author Fearne Cotton talks about feeling the wrath of others when expressing your truths, and how to manage this:
“…if you keep the truth in sight then you’ll be able to swim through these torrents with ease, knowing you’re doing the right thing… it is not about people pleasing or ducking under challenges, it’s about facing up to all life experience and approaching it in a way which feels rooted to that feeling of truth.”
I doubt myself and my decisions, almost everyday, particularly when it involves my children. Some days are better than others. Some days I give myself a talking to and let it go. Other days it is torturous. But I remind myself that the choices I’ve made, whether they work out how I planned or not, have always come from my heart, from my gut, and are what I believe to be for the greater good.
If you are finding society’s expectations are weighing heavy on your heart and spirit, I feel you! Remind yourself of your beliefs, your core values, list your reasons why. Connect with others with similar values if you can, and find your tribe for support. Just know that you are not alone, and by following your truth, ultimately, you cannot go wrong. Things may not follow the exact path you expect, but eventually the universe will work things out.