by Linda-Ann Stewart
When I began 2nd grade, I’d read all the Easy Reader books that interested me in the school library. Shortly after school began, my teacher told the class we’d be allowed to start reading in the Juvenile section once we asked her permission. As soon as that class ended, I went up and asked her, and she said, “No.”
She didn’t explain that she needed to assess my level of reading ability, which I’m guessing was her reasoning. My request was simply rejected and I didn’t know why. Fearing being turned down again, I waited until I was one of the last kids in the class to ask a second time. Because of this experience, I stopped asking for what I wanted or knew I was capable of handling. I hid away a piece of my authenticity for safety.
- When you were a kid, did you have your natural rambunctiousness shut down?
- Did your schoolmates tease you for knowing the answers, being overweight or different?
- Were you told by grownups to be seen and not heard?
- Were your parents amused when you splashed water on them one day, then punished you the next for doing the same thing?
- Did your folks change the rules from day to day?
- Did you become an over-achiever to get their approval that never came?
Any of these things could have shut down your natural self-expression. You learned it was dangerous to express your authentic self.
The problem wasn’t with you. You were simply being who you were. The issue was with the adults who wanted you to conform to their standards and convenience. This wasn’t part of raising you to be a courteous, compassionate, responsible adult. It was you trying to learn what the grown-ups wanted, even when their expectations changed daily.
In general, people shut you down and tried to confine you for their benefit, not yours. Your natural expression made them uncomfortable, took attention from them, came at a bad time or when they were in a bad mood. They weren’t concerned so much about your well-being as they were interested in their own welfare.
Because of this, you might have grown up feeling like your beingness was “wrong” somehow. That nothing you could do was right. And the more you tried to be perfect, the further you moved away from your true self and the worse you felt. When you did this, you shut off your connection to the Universe. It couldn’t give you the good you deserved because you couldn’t accept it.
Because others rejected you, you rejected yourself in the same way. Now, when you make decisions, do you make them for your well-being or to try to make other people happy? If you try to make everyone happy, you’re doomed to failure and disappointment. It’s time for you to start accepting yourself and realizing that you are fine the way you are.
Copyright 2012 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved