Personal Post: “The Pressure to Follow”

  As I continue on my constant journey with inner work, one of the lessons I have learned is the truth of an observation made by a very dear friend of mine: often, people  adopt an idea or a label not because they want to – but because those around them have pressured them into it. Maybe it’s their friends and family or society and popular opinion that’s made them fear the consequences of not accepting, doing, or showing support for certain things. Eventually, it can get to the point that you no longer know what you like, dislike, believe, disbelieve, know, don’t know, etc. This creates terrible confusion, and the more confused you are, the worse things become.

  Recently, I discovered I have the same issue, just in a different way. Because of influences growing up, I accepted / copied certain attitudes and beliefs not because the resonated with me but because any other choice would’ve been frowned upon. I did it because I just wanted to be left alone. Other times, I agreed with certain ideas because I though they would get me what I wanted. Needles to say, that didn’t work either. Even when I seemed to have what I wanted, I wasn’t truly happy. I had just created another image I had to spend energy on to maintain.

  Getting to know yourself can be a shocking journey, but it’s rewarding nevertheless. I’m constantly amazed by what I must confront, and although it has been painful at times, I wouldn’t trade the realizations I’ve had for all the world. I have had to learn lessons in self-forgiveness and compassion, and once I could have those for myself, it was so much easier to have them for others. Alura always says, “You can’t love anyone if you don’t love yourself.” Now I’m beginning to see how right She is.

  • E.W.

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