Being “good” isn’t enough.
No matter how “good” you are, how hard you work, how
slavishly devotedly you stick to your diet, how often and thoroughly you exercise, how easily you conform to the norms or what is acceptable…
…you realise that it’s not enough.
It’s not enough because you’ve given it your all to reach one social goal, only to realise that there is another social goal to hit immediately afterwards, and all your efforts from before mean nothing in relation to this new goal that everyone’s suddenly holding you accountable to.
Maybe you worked your way down to a size 12, or whatever your target size was, and you bought the outfits to go with your new figure, and you go out on the town to have a great time. Then some guys or girls will come up to you and chat you up – you’re fabulous, of course they would! – but then one wrong word or action, and they’ll lash out at you and leave you in the dirt.
That was the story of my latter teen and university years. Even if you ticked some of the boxes of “social acceptance” – slim enough, dressed well, out on the town – the next box of “social acceptance” is, as a woman at least, likely as a man too: to find a boyfriend or girlfriend (*gulp*)
And to do that? Women are told to be submissive to everyone else around you; be quiet; eradicate the word “no” from your dictionary; swallow any opinions that you have, and – of course – make it all look effortless.
Well, ain’t that a kick in the head.
At the flick of demonstrating your real self through the cracks of your makeup and new figure, you are shunned, feeling hated by everyone – because it takes more balls than you can muster to be called a bitch and to not give a shit.
All your effort, for nowt.
Helplessness – it’s out of your control.
Everything that you had been taught about how love and life should be is proven wrong.
“But I ticked all the boxes! I did everything I was supposed to! Why didn’t it work?”
Where’s the meaning in any of the things we do? It’s completely irrational, and unfair.
There is no justice.
Parker Palmer talks about something he calls “The Gap” in his work.
The Gap is the gap between how you think life should be and how YOU should be, vs. how you actually are and act.
When you see the gaping chasm between how you really are, and how you believe you should be?
That makes you feel powerless, because there’s nothing you can do to make The Gap smaller.
How do you recover from this?
You have to destroy what you think you must be
in order to become who you really are.
Destroy all that you think you must be
and you destroy The Gap that causes all your pain.
What if all you’ve known is the struggle and The Gap?
“If I destroy all I’ve ever known…I’ll have nothing left.”
What is gained from that?
…All the things you’ll need to begin the life you always wanted.
There is solace in Freedom, not just joy and opportunities.