“The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you but yourself.” ~ Rita Mae Brown
I have been thinking quite a lot lately about the power of authenticity and about how important it is to live your life with integrity and not let yourself be intimidated by the violent reactions and the many fears that might surface the moment you decide to be loyal to yourself and no longer surrender to conformity.
Raised in a household where fear and violence were the norm and speaking up for yourself was never allowed, I guess I developed this deeply rooted belief that it was not safe for me to be me. It was not safe for me to honor who I truly am. Because if I did… if I dared to step outside the identity others have engineered for me and be anything other than this image, I would be violently attacked and punished – which I was, many times – for not staying in ‘my place’.
Conformity to the world
“Fear, conformity, immorality: these are heavy burdens. They drain us of creative energy. And when we are drained of creative energy, we do not create. We procreate, but we do not create.” ~ David McCallum
According to the great clinical neuropsychologist Dr. Mario Martinez, author of The MindBody Code, every culture uses three things to keep its members in line:
Abandonment of your own self and everything you know in your heart to be right and true.
Betrayal of your own authenticity, dreams, core values and unique path in life.
And shame for even daring to dream of breaking free from the crowd and forging your own path in life.
So when you begin to feel better, wealthier, healthier, Dr. Martinez adds, the childhood wound will come up and you will feel as though you are betraying, abandoning and shaming your people.
The Freedom of Non-Conformity in a World That Wants You Bound
“Be yourself; no base imitator of another, but your best self. There is something which you can do better than another. Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that. Do the things at which you are great, not what you were never made for. To be great is to be misunderstood.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
There is a great deal of fear that is constantly being projected onto us by the world around us – in subtle and not so subtle ways – warning us of the dangers of non-conformity. And for those of us who are more sensitive, we can easily pick up on these fears. We can sense that something is off – even if we can’t always understand what we’re feeling and why.
The fear is real! Because the messages we are receiving are real. They are present all around us, reminding us of ‘who we are’ and demanding that we conform, obey and follow the rules. Because if we don’t, if we dare to be anything other than what we have been so heavily programmed to believe we are, we will suffer the consequences.
And unfortunately, many of us give into these subtle fears.
Afraid of being accused of abandoning and betraying the ones we love, we would rather go on living a lie than admit the truth to ourselves: that we are in fact betraying ourselves and everything we know in our hearts to be right and true – just so we can ‘please’ the world.
You Have a Right to Choose Non-conformity and the World Has a Right Not to like It
“Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ‘crackpot’ than the stigma of conformity.” ~ Thomas J. Watson
To be great is to be misunderstood. To walk the path of non-conformity and be truthful and loyal to Self is to risk being accused of betraying and abandoning ‘your people’. It happens. But you know what?
No amount of fear, worldly praise, recognition, ‘love’ or whatever it is the world asks you to exchange your integrity and authenticity for is worth betraying yourself.
None of it is worth it! None!
“For far too long we have been seduced into walking a path that did not lead us to ourselves. For far too long we have said yes when we wanted to say no. And for far too long we have said no when we desperately wanted to say yes. . . . When we don’t listen to our intuition, we abandon our souls. And we abandon our souls because we are afraid if we don’t, others will abandon us.” ~ Terry Tempest Williams
You weren’t born to live in fear. You weren’t born to live your life according to the endless list of expectations of those around you; to be a cheap copy of everybody else and expecting to be rewarded for ‘your good behavior’.
You were born to be true to your Self and loyal to the whole of you.
You were born to make music, to create art and to use science as a way to lead people back to truth, not away from it.
You were born to walk the path of integrity and shed light onto the darkness that now seems to envelop the whole world.
You have a right and a responsibility to walk the path of non-conformity. And the world has a right not to like it. For as Emerson said it bluntly,
“For non-conformity the world whips you with its displeasure.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
And I would add that for conformity the world praises you with great pleasure. But so what?
You are not here to please the world. You are here to honor yourself and be loyal to the whole of you. And you have a right and a responsibility to be true to yourself; no base imitator of another, but your Best Self. To do the things which you can do better than anyone else in this world. To listen to that soft inward voice – and bravely obey that – more than you listen to the loud voice of the world around you.
You have a right and a responsibility to do the things at which you are great, not what you were never made for. To be all that you were created to be. And if the world has a problem with that, that’s the word’s problem, not yourself.
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” ~ Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Change the way you think about yourself, your value and self-worth. Honor yourself and be truthful to yourself.
Learn to look at yourself through the eyes of Source, no longer through the eyes of others.
Do not give yourself away to people who are only interested in betraying yourself – just so you can please them.
Walk the path of non-conformity… Be loyal and committed to everything you know in your heart you truly are. And if anyone tries to make you feel guilty and ashamed for ‘betraying and abandoning’ them, just let them know you are not betraying anyone, you are simply being loyal and truthful to you!
P.S. This article was inspired by life and by the great works and teachings of Dr. Mario Martinez 🙂