I was raised to be a Good Girl. You know, the kind of girl who is always polite, never argues. The kind of girl who always obeys her elders and plays by the rules. The girl who rarely stands up for herself and when she does she is punished, scorned, ridiculed. The girl who never questions the status quo and lives in the little box that others created for her.
I was raised to be a Revolutionary. You know, the kind of person who doesn’t care what others think, who follows her heart, does what she wants. The kind of girl who rebels against all the norms that don’t fit in her skin. The girl who stands up for herself and debates and fights back, with or without the support of those who surround her. The girl who brings the status quo to it’s knees, changing the world, one small piece at a time through her own strength and vulnerability.
My maternal grandmother raised me to be a Good Girl. My mom and dad raised me to be a Revolutionary. The irony being, the more of a revolutionary I became, the more my maternal grandmother approved of me and the less my parents did.
One of the lessons taught by both my grandma and my parents was to not hurt other’s feelings. To be kind. To understand the other’s perspective. And depending on if it was my gram or my parents, I should then either bow to the whim of the other or stand my own ground regardless. Ultimately though, I should be kind and thoughtful.
What I’m learning now, is that being kind and thoughtful IS revolutionary. That thinking of others, considering their points of view, being open and willing to bend or change my own mind is revolutionary. To seek out my own opportunities for growth, release and healing is revolutionary. That caring for others, their thoughts, their feelings and guiding them to growth and change is revolutionary.
However what has really been coming home to me this last week, is that it is only revolutionary if we do all this while holding true to who we are. It is only revolutionary if we listen to and follow our Soul’s calling. It is only revolutionary when we understand that sometimes the only way to be kind to another is to stand firm in who we are, to defend ourselves, to open the space for the Other to step outside his or her own box and grow to become the person he or she is truly called to be.
Let me repeat that:
Sometimes the only way to be kind to another is to stand firm in who we are, to defend ourselves, to open the space for the Other to step outside his or her own box and grow to become the person he or she is truly called to be.
This is a tough one for me, to be honest. It’s Truth resonates through my entire being, however I truly struggle with conflict. I don’t actually like making people I know and interact with regularly uncomfortable. I have often thought that this is because I am a highly sensitive person, and when others are in discomfort I feel it as my own. What I come to realize is that the Truth is not actually the other’s discomfort that has me in a state of discomfort — it that I was given a double message about standing up for myself and being True to who I am and to my own values. The discomfort I feel isn’t about the Other, it is about owning who I am, accepting and loving who I am, and knowing deep in my soul that I am truly a good and kind person and that a kind person is also strong in who she is.
When we feel discomfort it means there is a lesson there for us to learn about ourselves. I have been triggered, pretty severely, this week by people in my world. They have tried to silence me, not allow me the expression of who I truly am. They have done this in such a way that my first response was to disregard who I am to make a situation easier on these other people, actually creating more stress and work for myself. However after this initial betrayal to my Self, the others demanded that I betray myself even more. My physical response was shaking and nausea and conflicting fight-and-flight reaction. I could not betray who I was any further, I needed to step back into my own Truth and values, to stand firm in who I am and what is right for both me and my family.
I struggled with this, standing firm in who I am. I believe in being open to change, to growth. To finding the opportunities to dig deep when another triggers us and to figure out the whys and hows of it all and to grow. I always focus on my own growth in this respect. I see my growth from the events this week to be that of calmly and comfortably standing firm in who I am. My growth is to be comfortable with another’s discomfort. My growth is to be who I am so that space can open for the others to go deep, to grow, to adapt, to explore their own discomforts and disappointments, to let go of desperate attempts to control and to find ways to simply Be. Be their own Selves, be part of a community, be in the world with others.
I wrote about adaptation the other day. The importance of my own ability to adapt, my own ability to spin my internal messages around to a more peaceful and loving way of being. I am being revolutionary in opening the space for others to find their own way towards adaptation, by not “fixing” things for them, by allowing them to sit in their own discomfort and find their own inner growth.
It is an act of kindness to act as a rebel, a revolutionary, to open the space for myself and others to find growth, adaptation and liberation. It is an act of kindness to stand in my own strength, my own truth, to Be fully me, as my soul is called to be.
And of course, Green Day says it best.
Those of us who stand in our Truth, our Strength, our Vulnerability are rebels. We are saints. We are dangerous. Dangerous to the status quo. Dangerous to stagnation. Dangerous to dormacy and inactivity. Dangerous to those who do not want to own their own stuff, who want others to bend to their will and not be questioned. Dangerous to those who are afraid of their own growth, their potential, their own healing.
Let’s embrace our rebelliousness. Let’s embrace our sainthood. Let’s be dangerous and let’s bring forth liberation, for our selves, for each other, for the world.