I am not like everyone else.
Having said that, you might look inside yourself and find that same statement. We’re all unique, all different from one another. Even the small parts of us that remind each other of people gone by, they’re just tiny pieces of a larger frame. Say it again. I am unique. That’s a good thing.
Inner freedom is the right to possess that unique game state and still maintain all your working parts with the social order of your world. Do you ever feel the lurking presence of peer pressure – or worse yet, stranger danger? I was at lunch with a friend recently, having a marvelous time laughing and teasing with a mutual friend, huggy bear of a man that he is, when I noticed the rather acidic and malevolent look a passing female shot my direction. It’s not unusual for me ~ I get that pretty often actually. Part of it is how I chose to dress ~ I believe in being 100% girl. For me, that is the entire enchilada wrapped in my best effort. I’m not unattractive, and my presence has been commented on more than once in my life. If I show up looking like I just rolled out of bed, something is seriously wrong in my life.
Glare girl shot me her best “drop dead” look as she wandered by our table, and again when we left and passed her on the sidewalk. I had noticed her earlier across the room when our waiter/worker friend came out to sit with us for just a moment – she was glaring then, too. Keep in mind, I don’t know the chick. Don’t care what her hang up is. Just know that glaring at me is only going to make me think that you’re an insecure bimbo. But what sort of pressure to conform do you feel when this happens to you? Is it better to cower to the desires of the crowd, or to simply be yourself? For me there is an inner freedom in allowing myself to be the unique person God created me to be. I don’t make any excuses for what I am – intense and direct, all in, loving and willing to fight tigers for those in my inner circle. I am, if nothing, a true believer. Who I love, I love with passion. Why sway that for someone who has no investment in my world, in what makes the universe that I inhabit a better place for the people included in it?
On the way home today I was reflecting on what makes people behave toward each other as they do. What gives people the right to survey a situation and decide that it’s their right to pass judgement? Is it that she thinks my dress is too dressy, earrings to sparkly, that I hug my friend to much? I wonder about people and the liberty we take here in our western culture to become part of another individuals story uninvited. You could almost hear her say “Well….” Lady, I have enough problems in my world without your intrusion. Promise you, there are a million feelings running around in this person of mind, so many thoughts in my head, that worrying about whether I am living my life in accordance with your wishes just doesn’t’ make my top ten.
I am willing to acknowledge that I make some pretty keen errors in judgement when it comes relationship buy in. Even with the mistakes made, the pain endured, I’d rather invest in some one or something that isn’t going to stick around for the long term than comply with other people’s ideas of what and who I am supposed to be. it’s not that I don’t care about others’ approval, because I want people to like me. I don’t care enough to change my most basic fundamental theological, sociological and emotional beliefs without the buy in of mutual love. I hope that you find it within yourself to engage life the same way – all in, wholehearted, willing to be hurt. I am willing to be hurt if that is what is required, but only in the name of agape love for a family member or friend. I will not take on the pain of social pressure for anyone ~ and the woman with the attitude stands zero chance in my frame of reference.
In the end, her face has already faded from my memory. I just remember that she had an unattractive outfit with unattractive hair. Lunch, however, was this amazing time of watching someone I care deeply for fight through social and relationship phobia to come out on the other side with a slightly bemused expression.
It’s a work in progress, what can I say?