*Note: This post is raw and unedited. I felt so strongly about this when I wrote and while it lacks the polish of say an article I feel that it conveys my passion. I also hope to expand and write a lot more on this topic so please do comment down below and share your insights. I welcome and open, honest and respectful discussion.
Sometimes, when I feel lost in a forced social norm I take to the internet to see if, like me there are others out there wondering why we all still do the things we do. The older I get the more clearly I see forced societal norms as dangerous to our progression as a whole.
That, and it really ticks me off when people like to tell me about all the things I “have” to do.
Have-to’s are probably a sticking point for many of us Indigos and Outliers. I am lucky that my best friend and husband is both utterly and completely supportive while also being one of those people that does what’s expected of him. It’s fun for us to sit and chat about the “have to’s” in life and if I were to be honest I do enjoy when I see a light go on in his eyes and I imagine Gru saying, “light bulb.”
One of these chats was about “have to’s” and I told him there is currently only one have-to in life-dying. At some point we all do it and no one I am aware of us has found a way out. I am however open to the possibility that humans will evolve beyond the physical constraints of the body but that’s probably another post.
So when I told my husband this he said, “well you have to pay taxes, you have to eat, you have to pay bills…” and I said, “Actually you don’t. There is not one thing in this world that you have to do.”
Of course this isn’t to say there aren’t consequences to choosing to do or not do things but that is true of everything in life. When we choose a path, any path, there are results to that choice. There are however no paths we have to take. We can choose to do whatever we want in life. Whatever we want.
I have found this belief to be very unpopular. Especially around the holidays or when everyone starts talking about “getting together.”
Today I was searching out some introvert inspiration. I wanted to read something about how utterly painful, difficult and unneccesary family gatherings are. I wanted someone to say, “hey I get it and no of course you should do something that causes you that much stress and pain.”
What I found instead where lists of how to “deal with” situations that are extremely painful for you or of the events you “can’t get out.” Whether you are an introvert of extrovert, if there is a situation or circumstance that causes you stress and unhappiness you are not required to take part in it and I don’t care who it’s for or what it’s about. In fact I believe supporting this mindset is furthering the belief that we are not powerful creators of our own lives and that sometimes someone more powerful will swoop in and make us do things that hurt us.
Since I was unable to find any articles saying, “hey if going to Grandma’s 88th birthday party is causing you unbelievable stress don’t go” I thought I would write one.
Here’s the thing. People will tell you that “it’s your GRANDMOTHER! How can you not go to her party?!”
Well, how can the Grandmother who loves me not know who I am?
How can she not fully and completely appreciate that it’s completely unbearable for me to attend something like this?
Why is the sacrifice always placed on the person saying, “no?” to everyone else’s “yes.”
Why is it never on the people who are unable to accept that we are all different and have different gifts to give to this world?
Why is important for me to be a number in a throng of people at a birthday party?
Where I would shine is to pick Grandma up one day, take her out for an amazing lunch where we laugh talk and share one on one. I can give her that handmade gift I spent the last few months planning, researching and making. We can share memories and I can fill her in on my latest projects. We will connect, her and I and celebrate her birthday in a way that lights us both up.
See, we aren’t anti-social. We aren’t just being spoiled children who don’t wanna. Everyone in this world has a beautiful gift to give that only they can give. The more we accept “have-to’s” the more these gifts are buried deep within in. The less brightly the world shines and the more accepting of unhappiness everyone becomes.
So in case you stumbled on this article because you have been invited to that thing for that person and you have everyone around you saying, “well you know, sometimes you just have to…” Please, please know that you do NOT have to. Know you are not alone, you are not weird or mean or antisocial or selfish or whatever words you hear or tell yourself. Know that being the way you are offers the most beautiful and amazing gifts to the world.
I see you.
And you do not have to go.
Much love to you.
Until next time…
–Michele, aka The Dreaming Dilettante