Who You Are or Who You Think You Should Be
When you purchase something, act in a certain way, dress in a particular outfit, hang out with people, are you doing that because those things align with who you are and who you want to be? Or are you doing it because you think that’s who you should be?
There is a big difference between doing something to support who you want to be and doing something because it supports who you (or others) think you should be. When we start thinking too much about who we are and who we think we should be, when we start putting labels on ourselves and backing ourselves into a corner based on stereotypes, the only person that we're hurting is ourselves.
This is something that I am guilty of, I can't count the amount of times that I've bought something because I thought I should read it, or I should wear it, or being around people and doing things because they're something I thought I should do but didn't actually want to do.
This happened a lot more when I was a teenager, I've never been big into the party scene, but I felt that I should go out anyway. I always ended up spending the night miserable and uncomfortable when I would have been much happier watching a movie in bed at home.
As I got older, it began to shift to the items I purchased or the interests I thought I should have. Even now this feeling of who I 'should' be is still present. Sometimes I think I should be vegan, after all I care about my health, I care about animals and the environment so I should be, right? But I'm not vegan and it isn't because I don't care. It's because I enjoy eating cheese, yogurt and eggs, and I do my best to make sure that the animal supplying the product lives a long, happy life.
I bought the book Medical Medium, because so many people recommended it and couldn't stop talking about how good it was and how helpful. So, I decided that it's a book I should read, a book I should own, because I cared about what foods I put in my body and what they do for me. When I began flicking through the pages when I got back home, I found that nothing at all in the book was backed by peer reviewed science, only by something the author called 'spirit'.
Upon learning this I put my book on the shelf, not feeling quite so excited to read it anymore, I didn't donate the book for the longest time, it just sat on my shelf, because I thought that I should read it.
I believe in being spiritual, and having a higher understanding, but I do not believe that an apple itself can prevent cancer and cure asthma. An apple as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, sure, but then it's not necessarily the apple alone doing the job is it?
Are you guilty of this same closed view of yourself that I have been? Look around your space, look at each of your belonging and ask yourself "does this represent who I am and who I want to be, or does it represent who I think I should be?". Be honest with yourself and begin discarding the items that just don't belong.
Remove everything that you bought because you think you should wear it, you should read it, you should own something like that, and only keep the items that really make you happy, that (in Marie Kondo’s words) ‘Spark Joy’ for you. Start setting yourself free from your own expectations and begin discarding all the belongings in your home who don't represent you and who you're becoming.
I'm really interested to hear about what you found in your space that doesn't fit with who are, what items you let go of to set yourself free from your own beliefs about who you should be.
Leave a comment below or contact me here.