September 24

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 24: “I needed to stop being what everyone thought I was.” ― Sarah Addison Allen

When I read through the quotes this morning, I thought about something on a whole new level for all of us. This is the suppression of the human spirit and our individuality on a global scale.

The pursuit of money and bling is one of tyranny of the worst sort.

I first thought about the women of history who were unsatisfied and unfit for the roles their society and culture deemed appropriate. I am pretty sure that had I been alive during the times of the 19th Century, I was probably a character like Calamity Jane. Rebellious and fighting for my personal independence.

We have enslaved people since the beginning of time, yet do not think about it on the larger scale. Oppression and enslavement create such horrible unhappiness and tragic consequences for the human spirit. This does not apply only to racial slavery, but also the slavery that determines that those who are any different from us need to be caged or locked up in some fashion.

I can visualize the place where those with mental illness are not put in the middle of a world where they are either locked up or forced to live in a society they do not understand or cannot conform with. What if we did this with people who are different in other ways? Gays and those whose choices are other than what we deem “the norm” could live freely and express themselves without judgment or being chastised by religious zealots. What about men who truly do not want to adopt the role of provider and parent, but prefer to live in an alternative lifestyle?

And women who are diverse in all ways? We all have been programmed to believe that what WE are doing is the superior or “right” thing. But is it?

We who have been socially snubbed for our addictions should be the first to be more mindful and open to the ideas that there is no such thing as “right” or “wrong.” We who have lived lives in the other side of the socially acceptable terms cannot possibly believe that our grace from addiction is a measure of some kind of deliverance into superiority. But some do.

When I read this quote, what I see are all the masks we still wear to be socially accepted and comfortable in the world around us. Most of the people I know still walk through life with their heads bowed and their eyes downcast, afraid that others will find out who they are and judge it. We have a long way to go to being truly free to live the lives we are here to live, without the shields and masks.

And we can claim that freedom whenever WE decide. The truth about this quote is this: It really matters NOT AT ALL what others think of me. I only live into their expectations when I am too afraid to be who I really am. That, my dears, is on US, not THEM!

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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