“Rebellion is when you look society in the face and say I understand who you want me to be, but I’m going to show you who I actually am.”
We all want to be heard and desire to speak all that is embedded into our souls but often times this is not always possible- the world does not always provide us with a safe space to truly speak our minds. I have struggled for the longest of time with being true to myself. I have often trembled and hidden myself in my own shell at the thought of speaking the true contents of my inner being.
These are some six truths that I have learnt on my journey to living a life that is authentic, where I do not silence, edit or water-down who I am for the sake of outside approval:
- Do not succumb to compromising your authenticity for others’ comfortability. We grow up being taught to always be considerate of other people and taking care that our actions do not in any way offend them. But this can be detrimental because it is from this that I believe we learn to constantly try to smoothen ourselves up and our ‘rough edges’ so that we do not cause discomfort to others; but in this smoothening out process, we also file down our essence, we become untrue to who we are. So speak your truth even if it makes others uncomfortable, rather speak the true contents of your heart than to speak empty echoes from your ghosted being.
- Begin accepting being cast out of the crowd and fully embracing standing alone. I used to struggle a lot with being lonely as a result of constantly feeling like I never belong or fit in anywhere. I tried to fit in but even there I felt that I was robbing myself of something. So overtime I just told myself that, “Katz, clearly this fitting in thing did not work out, might as well just be me and excel at it with flying colours.” I am now learning that you are most likely to be remembered for standing alone than blending into a crowd. New trends are always started by individuals who chose and decided to break free from the crowd. One of the benefits of standing alone is that you stand the chance of becoming the blueprint on which everyone wants to copy.
- Remember: those who change the world rarely live by the status quo. History has proven time and time again that oppressive systems and traditions have always been changed by people who chose to go against the beliefs of their time and pave a new way for themselves and others after them. You don’t have to silence yourself simply because your ideas, thoughts and perceptions are not concurrent with those of the society you find yourself in. Every generation needs a pioneer who will set a new path and peharps a pioneer is who you are. Often times our silence deprives the world of fresh eyes to look at things around it.
- Do not tip toe around people’s sensitivities at a cost of dumbing down your truth. We will never live to the fullness of who we were created to be if all we ever seek to do is to be appealing to the masses. You’ll be constantly watching your every step instead of firmly and boldly walking in the truth of who you are. We are constantly editing bits and pieces of ourselves, compromising on our rawness and forgetting that we do not owe the world edited manuscripts of ourselves.
- Acceptance of yourself is all that should matter because it’s really all that matters. Do not ever reject who you are for the world’s acceptance. You will come to the end of your life with so much regret. We lose a great deal of our lives longing for the approval of those around us- we want to be accepted into certain circles so we act a particular way, we want to be applauded so we say things that the masses will agree with. But what’s the use of being applauded by the world but when you sleep at night you cannot applaud yourself because you live everyday betraying your true essence? We have lived too long for people’s approval, how about we now learn to be accepting and approving to ourselves and nobody else?
- You are not entitled to wear the world’s garment of perfection. Many of us hide our flaws and wear our perfections at our sleeves. We hide our seemingly unpleasant selves to make ourselves palatable for those around us; we hide and water-down parts of ourselves because we fear that those we love may not be able to swallow the fullness of who we are. But this is not the life we deserve or the life we have been called to live. You honestly do not owe anyone perfection because everyone that you are trying to fake perfection for is also secretly failing at it too so we might as well just walk around with our flawed selves without the burden of trying to be that which we are not. Wouldn’t that be a beautifully liberating world to live in?
I’ll leave you with a beautiful quote just to summarize everything and bring it home:
“You can’t let people scare you. You can’t go your whole life trying to please everyone else. You can’t go through life worried about what everyone else is going to think. Whether it’s your hair, clothes, what you have to say, how you feel, what you believe and what you have. You can’t let the judgement of others stop you from being you. Because if you do, you’re no longer you. You’re someone everyone else wants you to be.”
It probably goes without saying, but one of the most defining Bible characters is Jesus. Whenever I encounter him in The New Testament I am always in awe of the magnitude of who he is but more especially how those around him responded to that magnitude. His wisdom baffles me, how he is able to stand on his truth of being the son of God even though he is condemned countless of times for it. I believe there is so much we can learn from his character. When I think of him I see someone who was the most rebellious individual of his generation, he challenged the religious laws and expectations of his time, he was kicked out of the church for doing and saying controversial things that did not align with religious & societal ideas within the Jewish and Roman context and his own friends (disciples) deserted him for their inability to understand him.
And perhaps we are not meant to be understood but we came here to raise our voices at all that is wrong with our world and learn to speak the truths of our hearts with great courage and boldness; and just maybe, we- the ones who seem to never fit in to this world, we are the ones who have been chosen to be the history makers of our time.