August 7

COURAGE MONTH: DAY 7: “Most of us are not raised to actively encounter our destiny. We may not know that we have one. As children, we are seldom told we have a place in life that is uniquely ours alone. Instead, we are encouraged to believe that our life should somehow fulfill the expectations of others, that we will (or should) find our satisfactions as they have found theirs. Rather than being taught to ask ourselves who we are, we are schooled to ask others. We are, in effect, trained to listen to others’ versions of ourselves. We are brought up in our life as told to us by someone else! When we survey our lives, seeking to fulfill our creativity, we often see we had a dream that went glimmering because we believed, and those around us believed, that the dream was beyond our reach. Many of us would have been, or at least might have been, done, tried something, if…If we had known who we really were.” ― Julia Cameron

There is a process of “education” we go through as children that does not foster our creativity or unique skill set. When I went to school, we got our box of 6 or 8 crayons, not sure of the number any more. It was the same box I got from 1st grade to 6th grade. That does not exist any longer. Art supplies, like recess and other sports programs have been eliminated because of the rising costs of educating young people. Even so, those colors were the standard issue for all of us.

We were taught to always color in the lines and to use the “right” colors for each thing…apples are red-(except when they are green or yellow or hybrid to be other colors), trees are green with brown stems and trunks (except in New England, where people flock to see the yellow, red and orange-OR when they are blooming pink, red, purple, etc.). You get my drift.

What about the artist who sees blue trees in his vision? Or any of the creative genius’ or sports stars who are not allowed to express their unique skills when reading and Algebra are the only fare for the day in that setting?

We are programmed from a VERY young age to conform. To get along with others and to play on a team. I was NEVER any good at any of this stuff and have unique skills that I love today. It took years of learning to de-program me to get to those skills. We are not here to think or act as a team or a group. It is the same kind of indoctrination given to those who enter the military. Dress the same, look the same, comply with commands. Yikes!

No wonder we addicts rebel against this doctrine! I truly believe we are destined to continue to rebel and to find our own way. It explains our penchant for breaking laws. We want to speak out against the system that gives us a number and stamps conformity into us.

We are not allowed to become a singular visionary without suffering the social stigma of being a “weirdo” or freak. I am not a fan of this. I have known great artists and composers and musicians who all had to fight to become great…fight against the culture of their origin, because they were singular people who had a unique gift to share. We are made courageous when we share our singular gifts.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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