Without meaning to, I have been digging life’s building blocks; relationships I held/hold, purpose, passions, behaviour, personality, and my way of thinking – questioning everything. Grief is draining, that’s a fact. But, there was more to the emptiness. It had always existed in some shape or form, but I didn’t pay attention then. Simply because it was easier to ‘coast’ through life, to take things as they come, and not think about the ‘why’. Why am I doing this? Why am I reacting this way? Why does this matter to me?
What sparked this drastic deep dive? I have a little person looking to me to lead by example. She will make her own way, no doubt, but I’ll hold her hand for as long as she’ll allow. But, how can I possibly do that if I am not even the slightest bit sure myself? How can I confidently teach her something if I am not entirely clear WHY I believe in it, or am passionate about it? I know we are continually growing and no one ever reaches their optimal self, that takes a lifetime, but I can start somewhere, right?
I have to. Because it is so easy to take what has been passed down for generations and carry it forward, not thinking about the why, the how. It is so easy not to challenge things, because hey, if we do and the answer comes back something else, what does that mean for the world we have created? For the life we have lived so far based on those (sometimes baseless and toxic) traditions?
I don’t want my little girl to grow up bound to expectations and the shackles of tradition and culture. I want her to create and uphold relationships that protect her peace and inspire her to be better. If she holds a passion, a belief, I want it to stem from a place of truth – not just because the world told her ‘this is the way’ and anything else is ‘wrong’. I want her to be able to say ‘no, that is wrong’ or ‘yes I believe this’ with a firm understanding as to why. I want her to challenge and not conform, only until she truly is sure. Because, once we truly begin to understand, only then do I feel we can experience some kind of freedom in ourselves, our relationships, our experiences, and choices.
A part of me always felt unsettled, unsure. Occasionally, I did think on the surface, but I never really took the time to truly ‘understand’ certain things. But, by challenging my way of thinking, reflecting on the ‘facts’ that I had just ‘accepted’ over the course of my life – I was surprised to find that a lot of my behaviour and outlook stemmed from a place that wasn’t quite true to who I am NOW, that some of those things existed based on limited understanding – without true certainty.
Delving into the answers to: ‘why am I like this’ ‘what value does this hold in my life’ has given way to a new freedom. One where I feel a ‘little’ more confident, where I no longer feel the insistent need to please others, to maintain things (an unhealthy habit or bond), where I now understand my value and my place as an individual. It has been eye-opening; not just re-learning the importance of faith, purpose, and meaningful bonds, but discovering things about myself that I never cared to recognise before.