It took me a week to write, and it has my heart in it.
I explore this idea of “making your own rules”, so that life actually works for us. What does it mean to live in the world today, where we all know that changes are a-coming? How do we prepare for it?
I believe the answer is in working with our hearts. These are the new rules. And I believe some of us need to work by the new rules already, because we cannot work in any other way.
This is what the guest post is about. Now, over here in my own blog, I want to add a few things:
It takes a long time to get to the point where you can draft your own rules
Because the first thing we do, when facing “hards”, is to panic. A lot.
Because your instinct is to assume there is no way around this. There is no way to adapt this thing that you can’t do, or this thing that hurts you.
I have spent my entire life trying to force myself to “fit” into what was expected of me.
Because… it’s “what is expected of everyone”. Right?
“We all have to force ourselves to conform”. “That’s society”. “That’s the way things are”.
Yeah… Except… A couple of things.
It would break me, completely.
It would break me up from the inside. It would destroy me.
It turns out that, much to my surprise, I am unbelievably sensitive. That means that the tiniest “push” into something that doesn’t feel right for me can crush me.
Eventually it becomes a vicious circle. I am pushed to conform, which crushes me. I am crushed, so I cannot function like “normal people”, which means I am pushed further to conform. Which only crushes me further.
It never actually worked.
Yes, it’s true, we “all have to conform”. But you know what? For other people, life “works”. For me, it doesn’t.
Life just doesn’t… “work”.
Other people can do what they’re expected to do, and they reap the rewards. Occasionally they may resent having to conform, and I get that. But for the most part, life “works”.
For me it really, really doesn’t. And I have the scars to prove it.
In the world of “work”, I’ve experienced nothing but mediocrity and poverty. And lots of unemployment.
In the world of “relationships”, I’ve had… abuse and trauma. Still recovering from that.
In the world of “body” and “health”? Pushing myself to exercise only meant hurt and pain.
In the world of “socialising” and “meeting people”? Isolation, loneliness. Friendlessness.
So here’s what I believe
I can’t speak for everyone. Of course I can’t. But for “some of us”…
For some of us, pushing ourselves to conform means pain and dysfunction.
Because some of us are really, really sensitive. That means our needs are really “specific”, and we have to pay close attention to them.
And when we try to fit into a mould that is designed for “the majority”, we break down.
When we break down, we cannot help anyone. Not even ourselves.
I’m realising that a huge part of what I want to do is help people to thrive in “non-conforming”. To find the ways they can adapt what appears to be the “only way to do things”, so that things actually work for them.
So my new motto, when I’m in a “stuck place”, is:
“Where are the new rules?”
“How can I change this so that it works for me?”
I am slowly getting used to playing with the new rules. And trusting that there are “new rules” to come up with in the first place.
It’s a practice. But I’m already pretty excited about it.
PS: Boundless amounts of gratitude to Rachael Kay Albers for the opportunity to guest post for Awesomepreneur. It’s a seriously cool place, so make sure you check it out :)