“Perhaps we should love ourselves so fiercely that, when others see us, they know exactly how it should be done.”
They are (kind of) the three behavioral levels of why we do the shit that we do.
Each is powerful in its own right. And while creating alignment within all three can sometimes be a real bitch of a challenge, I would actually suggest we should view individual behavior the following way:
I suggest this because I believe individual norms, our personal behavior, is constantly being squeezed by society overall as well as the groups in our circle of influence.
I note this because, if you are not careful, you get squeezed into, well, maybe not nothingness, but certainly “lessness.”
I note this to suggest you almost always have to fight back.
Let’s say you gotta sharpen your elbows and create some space for you in between what society is suggesting <which often feels a lot like it is actually demanding> and what your current circle is outlining as the right way to think and behave.
I once called this ‘pushing back … not stepping up.’
But here is the hard part. And it is kind of surprisingly hard.
It is fairly easy to sharpen your elbows and fight back, but without some thought you are simply fighting. You end up fighting with no purpose other than it feels good to fight back in some way. And while fighting back in and of itself is somewhat satisfying because you feel like you should it is less than satisfying because it has no real focus or purpose. I will not suggest it is completely ‘wasted energy’ but it is certainly less than efficient use of your energy.
So what about the ‘thought’ part then? This is where ‘knowing what you want and knowing who you are’ rears its ugly head.
Being “anti” something is pretty easy. I could actually suggest in some ways it is lazy. But what I do know for sure is that being “for something” is hard. Like … well … really hard. You not only have to convince yourself that what you are standing for is something … but also mentally accept it is not going to perfectly align with your group norms as well as the societal norms. Yeah. That means on occasion, maybe even often, you may not be in alignment with all the shit going on around you.
I would argue the former, convincing yourself, is the most difficult part.
Who I am today is not who I will be tomorrow … combined with … you cannot really hide from what will be … which makes fighting back partially a constant battle of movement and adaptation.
Society is not always right.
Your group is not always right.
So why should you always have to be right?
Fighting back isn’t about being “right.” It is simply about fighting for what is right … you. I will not call it individual rights but rather the right to be an individual. Maybe it is also partially a fight for the part of you that you love. I imagine this suggests you gotta find a part of yourself to love … but that I most likely a different post and thought for a different time.
But I love the quote I opened with. It is different than the typical “you have to love yourself before you can …” idea.
It is more about the benefit to you.
It is living Life by example. And maybe that is the bigger thought.
Fighting back against society … against some of your circle of acquaintances norms … is not about simply fighting for fighting sake but rather fighting to show that you, who you are and what you do, shines a fierce light on something you love <who you are and the things you do>.
Yikes. That’s kind of a scary thought. Maybe it is a “hope to attain one day“ type thought.
And you know what? That’s okay.
Hard because society & group norms suggest the only way you can fight back is to “know now” and not “hope to be.”
We are a work in progress. All of us and all ‘norms.’
No matter what society says and your group norms state <sometimes unequivocally> we are a constant work in progress. The fight is never a battle for ‘lessness’ … no one can even kiddingly suggest that … all norms at all levels desire ‘moreness.’
They may just not know how to do it or what it looks like.
If you love your ‘work in progress self’ fiercely maybe, just maybe, you will show how it’s done.
There is a thought for the day.