I Am Not To Be Defined

roseWe live in a world today where everything and everyone has to be defined as something we already know. I feel this need myself. It is easier, and it gives a sense of certainty when we judge people to be or act a certain way.
Im starting to realize, how much of an impact and control my physical appearance have had on me, and still has to some degree.

I have never really felt a sense of belonging anywhere, at any point in my life. When I look back on my teenage years, I see a girl desperately trying to find a place to fit in. To fit in somewhere indicates that we have to fulfill a certain standard, which means we have to look a certain way, act a certain way, speak a certain way and so on. This also means that we are not being our true selves…

According to social standards I’m in the category of being pretty. I feel how this label has done a lot of damage in many areas of my life. To be honest, it is not my looks, it is the standard of how people with good looks should act, dress like etc., that has been damaging. I have felt a lot of pressure to “act right” according to this category that I’m in. I felt like I was being disapproved of, if I didn’t follow the “rules” that are within the category of looking good.

Every standard and category have certain unwritten rules one will have to follow to be a part of the whole, and that will absolutely prevent one from expressing the truth and uniqueness of ones being. 

I think most of us are trying to fill the void of emptiness, or the feeling of not belonging, to a certain degree. I feel as if I have tried to fulfill that need within “my own” category. The thing is it has never worked, at all. It has only caused me to feel even more lonely and isolated, because it is not where I belong.

I remember people not understanding why I was so quiet and introverted when I was younger. I remember someone telling me that I was beautiful, and asking me why I wasn’t trying to get attention from the boys, because I could easily do that. They did not understand why I wouldn’t take that opportunity.

I started to feel as if I didn’t “use” my looks to its potential. That I had to start acting and behaving the way a girl with good looks should behave. I started to feel the need to be approved of based on how I looked, and the importance of being accepted by people in the same category. Which of course was very superficial and stressful, because I was never good enough just being me. I very quickly started feeling even more isolated and alienated than before.
I came into a new environment after awhile, still in the category of being pretty, but melted together with another category of society, but just as superficial and damaging.

I started feeling like a shell of a person, and I was. No one cared about me, they cared about my shoes or the dress I was wearing, or even more so, how my body looked in the dress.

It got to the point where I would start crying whenever I was drunk, without understanding why.

I felt like an antelope in a dangerous territory, frozen by fear and surrounded by lions, and only lions. There wasn’t any place for me to go where I could feel safe. It was a constant feeling of trying to fit in with the lions, as a way of not being eaten.
At that time my living situation was also not a place of comfort or mentally safety.
So in order for me to feel a sense of security, one of the lions became my boyfriend. A lion that used to be an antelope himself, but for the sake of survival had transformed a long time ago. The lions weren’t evil, they were trying to survive. But for an antelope, for me, they were a danger.

Looking back I understand the emotionally hell I’ve been through. I understand that I lived with a constant worry and a feeling of unsafety for a very long time.

I used to dream of someone coming to save me and take me away, because I did not know how to do that myself. Eventually I did manage to “get away”, as I started to feel a sense of empowerment, strength and the need to care for myself, and so I did. It is almost two years ago, and it was the best thing that I could have ever done. 

Because of all that has happened, I am now very conscious of the fact, that I do not wish to belong in any category or being judged by standards to the degree that it controls me. I want to do what feels right for me to do, hang out with the people I feel connected to on a soul level, wear the clothes I want to wear, even if it does not “fit” my looks. I am me, and there is no way any standard or category will ever be able to define all of my being, as there is no way any standard or category will ever be able to define yours. 

A couple of years ago I wrote a short note that explained my emotions at that time. I hid it somewhere I knew no one would find it. Im going to finish the post with this note, as a way of letting my past self know, that she is now safe. 

“I hear someone calling, telling me about a secret place

A place where I can be myself

But I said no thanks, because he needs my help

But as the time goes by, I realize that Im in a lot of pain

I could use a friend right now, to tell me why I should walk away”

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30 Comments

  1. The standards they set should not define who you are. Happy you found the courage to change and be empowered. Stay you. Don’t stick to the status quo. Just think of the lions as antelopes who are cowards. You are much stronger. I am happy for you. You are now safe. 🙂

  2. Your life sounds very similar to mine. This topic of being free to be your true self and not by being judged by out appearances is very important to me and I also have blogged on it. When I was young I was also considered “pretty”. I recently had a friend tell me I am a very beautiful woman. I never saw these things in myself, however. I always tried hard to fit into a world that I do not fit into, especially when it comes to my looks. This was such an obsession with me that I suffered from anorexia for 15 years. I have since learned that “beauty” on the outside means nothing. Who actually decided what physical beauty is anyway? I am now in my 50’s and can tell you that physical beauty fades. True beauty is of the Soul. This beauty is ageless and timeless. It lasts for eternity. We should never feel that we must fit into society’s categories and labels. Being our true selves is what we came here to do and be. That is true beauty! Be yourself and do not worry about “fitting in”. It makes for a much happier life.

    1. Yes you are right! Thank you for sharing your story. It’s an important topic and I hope more and more people will realize this truth. As you say, it makes a much happier life.

  3. Excellent post Sascha. It’s very real and down-to-earth, loved it. I can also relate to the part of not being able to “fit in” sometimes, even though not because of outside beauty (since I’m a guy), but more because I always stood out from the crowd in one way or another, wherever I went. And some people have a tendency to not like or understand what’s different from what they’re used to, so they push or abuse you emotionally, in order to get you to conform.

    Anyways, the antelope-lions metaphor was simply brilliant. Also, quite inspiring to see you trying to be yourself, which reminds me of this quote: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  4. An honest peek behind the curtain of social pressure when you are considered to be good looking. Years back I was lucky to have a relationship with someone society considered very attractive. We were both coming out of an abusive relationship. Her soul was fragile and self esteem almost non existent. Her wanting to stay in and cuddle and feel loved was surprising but as I consider myself a tender hearted being, we could sit quietly for hours together. It’s a long story but thank you for reminding me of how looks aren’t everything and can actually become a burden if you are not mature or centered enough.

  5. In reference to the last three postings

    A music note
    Dicordant to the hum ( of the universe )
    Causes grief

    A music note
    In tune to the hum
    Grows and expresses
    Loving it is
    Joyful it is
    Thy friend it is

    Seek the note
    Which is in tune
    The note is a thought
    Or a person

    There are things which cannot be expressed in public.

  6. This is a brave post. I’m an attractive woman myself, though I never thought of myself as beautiful or extraordinary. Still, I have wondered if my looks, in combination with my introversion, have hindered my ability to make friends in some ways. While I am grateful for being pretty, and I believe that being attractive allows us advantages that most people don’t get, it can also create disadvantages that most people don’t consider. The main disadvantage that comes to mind is friendships with other women, but I am learning that changes with age, thank God… This post has inspired me to write my own post on the subject. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much. Im happy you can relate to this and feel inspired to write about this subject also. Please let me know when you post this, I would love to read it. Blessings

  7. I love powerful and passionate writing. This certainly fits the bill. I was never a pretty girl and I know because of that I got away with a lot of shit. 😉 Finding your place in the world can be a very painful process. Thank you for sharing this post and your interest in my blog. I look forward to reading more from you.

  8. Yes, Sascha! I too was struck by your courage. I think that God and man, like shadow and light, are inseparable and yet separate, and that your journey is bringing you out of the darkness! Keep seeking!

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