When you live your life in a way that is uncomfortable for others around you, you may handle some of this energy. Sometimes this can feel like trying to explain away all the stars up in the sky!
The way I often see this is as a demand that one makes sense to others. If you plan to do something different, you’d better have a good reason. And how dare you if you don’t:
“We are all over here making judgments right now, and you’d do well to care about that and line up! If everyone sees you acting weird, they will judge us too. We liked you better before. You used to be so nice, what happened?
What are you using your education for anyway? You have so much to live up to. How could you let the rest of us down? Your ancestors came to this country and worked hard so that you could do that? Why do you want to do that anyway – it’s not even a real job. It’s time to stop dreaming and face reality. If only you’d stay here and be like the rest of us. Why can’t you be happy just being normal? What kind of an example are you for others?
Why are you changing? Wasn’t everything fine before, why did you have to go and upset everything? Where do you think you will find another job? Are you trying to commit professional suicide? Where did you get the idea that you can become a __________? It’s not practical to do that! Why should you succeed where so many others have failed?”
I think you get the picture. It’s hard not to take this stuff personally, but can be much easier to deal with if you don’t. It may seem personal, especially coming from those closest to you, but it reflects their fears more than any real need for you to explain. If you have tried to explain, you know already that no explanations are acceptable if you are doing something others do not like. They just Will Not Get It.
When one person steps away from the acceptable standards of normal in their group to create a life that looks very different from the others, it can be seen as threatening to the group’s survival. It’s scary to step away, what if the others ostracize you? You’d better come up with a good explanation!
And yet you have to make changes. Your inner feelings about how you are living your life demand it. You are tired of trying to fit yourself into the mold that’s most comfortable for others. When you take steps and make choices toward your own freedom, you make some people uncomfortable simply because they cannot do this too. Or will not.
In the past few years, we have all witnessed enormous changes on this planet and in the United States. Many people are embracing the great changes and shift in awareness, and many others are resisting them. It can be difficult to create real change for yourself while facing this kind of resistance. That, coupled with the demand to make sense, can really play havoc with one’s sense of self, and ability to be validated for the changes one is making.
It’s helpful to remember that the person who is actually living your life is you. I had a conversation with a woman I met recently in which she assured me that she was not living her life for herself, that that was a very selfish act, and she considered that to be a negative. Meanwhile, she was bemoaning that she couldn’t seem to create a happy relationship. I gently suggested that the two might be related, and perhaps she wanted to reconsider who she was living her life for. She wasn’t interested in doing so, and I bowed out of the conversation. It’s just not worth arguing this point with someone who is still learning it. It’s their business anyway.
You may have held yourself back from changing while waiting for others to get it. Hint: don’t. Today may be the right time to step forward boldly to claim your own life. It’s already yours: No Explanations Necessary.
©Kris Cahill 2007-2012 All Rights Reserved.