Living In A Box

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Sometimes the reality of another person’s humanity is difficult for others to swallow. Usually that is because we are encouraged to keep secrets, hide our skeletons, and minimize – or cover up – our faults, flaws, uniqueness, and individuality.  We are expected to live within a box that is defined by society’s rules, religion’s restrictions, and other people’s labels.

It’s considered the norm to kiss butt, quote the common mantras, and morph into the desired being of whoever holds the “power” in the moment. Authenticity is rare. And because we often succumb to the pressures of being who we are not, it is awkward – even threatening – when we come into contact with someone who is not bound by the boxed-in limits of someone else’s narrow-minded diagnosis of who they should be. So when we meet that “real” someone, we compose new definitions for them… eccentric, crazy, weird, flaky, “out there”.

Doesn’t matter that they don’t spend every penny they have on jewelry for their cats at the expense of their own health and well-being (this would truly be eccentric). Doesn’t matter that they don’t wear pants on their arms and walk on their hands believing the world is upside down (yeah… that might be a little bit “out there”). Nor does it matter that they don’t flitter around quoting nothing but scripture – or religious mantras – and believe that they are the only one who has a connection to God and can have no conversation about day-to-day things because they’re too spiritual (most definitely would earn the “flaky” label).

They are simply different. They are comfortable with themselves. They are confident in their abilities and aware of their weaknesses. They speak their minds with quiet conviction, they aren’t bound by fads and fashions, and they tend to be an open book… what you see is what you get. What they say they mean.

Authenticity is rare, yet something that would make our world a better place – and us better humans – if we could simply learn to BE who we were created to be and allow others the same liberating freedom.

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