2002-05-18 / Columnists

The Inner Voice by Marilyn Gelfand

The Inner Voice by Marilyn Gelfand

Living in our society requires adaptation so one can be left in peace. Some people have public faces, some people avoid many social interactions, and some wholeheartedly buy into what the outer society says should be valued. Our society has a tremendous number of people addicted to substances, which dull the senses. The addiction is chronic and these people stop caring about what they themselves truly value. Our outer world is getting more black and whiteâ013good vs. evil, me vs. them, you're responsible not me, etc. It may provide safety for those who like structure and have a desire to fit in. It's easier to fit in now. But for others, it is difficult to be who we want to be. Women are thin and have young looking faces because of surgery, and that then becomes the norm, for example.

The challenge, then, of figuring out what you yourself really want out of life can be difficult if it butts heads with others. Being comfortable being disapproved of is essential for freedom. In reality, the less we can live not needing the approval of others, the more freedom we have. Since many of our social skills bring us money and food, it is essential to draw the line on where and when I can make wise choices for myself. But where there is an option, go for it.

I know, for example, that our society values tough women who can fight and beat any man. Years ago, Emma Peale was a character on a television show called The Avengers, and Xena the female warrior today are representations of attractive women because they exhibit male type strength. They live in a man's world, and they can fight like a man. I have difficulty with this because I naturally value affection, gentleness, kindness, quiet, being loving, etc. The perception by these others is that I am weak. I have no desire to enter their great competitions. The truth is I can defend myself, but other than that I think being a warrior is not my style. I want to create beauty where I can, be a part of nature, and enjoy life quietly. I am boring to many. I don't fight by choice. I realize that when I move far from my true nature, and become part of the world's power and strength judgments, I lose my happiness. I miss being a beautiful rose in the company of other roses. We are beautiful naturally, because of who we are, and that's enough for us.

I think it is important to know your inner self, and what you yourself value and enjoy. As much as possible, bring it into your daily life. Let yourself have a fulfilling life, not based on what others say. But on what you believe.

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