we are handed a template. more or less from birth.
we then become apprentices to the template. learning how to bend to its will. learning how to best honour the template.
the template is handed to us by our parents. our broader family. society.
it is simple enough, containing some basic rules, conventions and parameters. there are expectations inherently and subtly woven into the details. even if the template speaks of freedom, there is an unwritten, unspoken and absolutely-must-be-obeyed command at its heart. you must conform.
and we all do. we conform. conformity is safe, it is the obvious thing to do. we do it instinctively for the overall good of the herd, the apparent ease it will enable us to live, and because we are (generally speaking) never really shown an alternative plan anyway.
what does conformity look like?
a house, a mortgage, family, kids.
holidays once a year.
safe, secure jobs, plodding along a single career path. progressing from apprentice whatever, to junior thingy, senior whatchamacallit, and eventually senior assistant to the deputy under-manager…
it’s easy. it’s templated. it’s laid out for you dammit!
but what price, conformity?
your soul dies a little every day. the template does not account for that aspect of you.
the aspect that wants to soar, to play, to discover and to LIVE.
the template requires that you “settle”. you settle for a version of life that is, in effect, a compromise.
you settle into the pattern of life laid out by the template. you settle for the closest you can get to the textbook “happy life”.
and all the time, your soul is dying. dreams are buried under monstrous piles of suppression and self-denial.
you may even stop noticing the pain deep inside, after a while. if you’re “lucky”
or maybe you will be REALLY lucky
some experience, some process, some journey may chip away at the toxic waste in which your dreams are drowning.
a small hole may appear, a tiny chink, but just enough for an explosion to occur, as decades of denial apply just enough pressure to ensure they get out into the world. and this time they WILL be heard.
do not try to put things back. do not desperately scramble around, trying to patch up the template. embrace the opportunity to live.
shifting from “settled” to “unsettled” is incredibly challenging. you have to shift out of the infamous “comfort zone”. you face demons. you face the fact that it is YOU that “settled” for anything in the first place.
there’s no template. no guide. no pattern to follow. it’s YOUR rules, YOUR responsibility, YOUR life.
that is what true freedom, a true, fully aware, all-embracing life looks, feels and smells like.
and please, if you read this before it’s too late…
refuse to settle for anything except the life you always imagined.