February 6, 2022

Are You Simply Mimicking the World Around You?

“It is as if I had been going downhill while I imagined I was going up. And that is really what it was. I was going up in public opinion, but to the same extent life was ebbing away from me.”
Excerpt From: Leo Tolstoy. “The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Centaur Classics).”

Have you read The Death of Ivan Ilyich?

In a nutshell, it’s a story of a man who conformed to society’s standards and anchored his life choices in what his peers would think about him. He looked to his colleagues to determine for himself what was wrong, what was acceptable — even his marriage was a decision he felt had to be approved by his friends. I won’t detail how he died (in case you wanna read it too) but hint, hint: It was while trying to do yet another thing to impress other people.

I quoted the book because it is sobering.

Since high school, I have struggled with people-pleasing tendencies. There’d be a knot in my stomach when I hear about someone disliking me or criticizing my choices. So I hide parts of myself that I know wouldn’t sit well in a particular friend group.

In college, I used to pretend to like the things my ex liked because I wanted to feel like I truly belong. I’d sit through shows I didn’t like, play video games I didn’t enjoy as much as I let him think, and I tolerated uncomfortable things for the sake of not stirring up disagreements.

But through the years, I’ve grown and realized that is no way to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

I’ve learned that it is important to show up fully because authenticity is a pillar of genuine connection with those we love. And it unwise to just go with the flow. To do what the majority is doing.

We have to stand for something or else everything would sway us.

For me, that means striving to live a life that pleases God, not mere men. To hold dearly the opinions of my Creator, not that of a random stranger on the Internet. To let my beliefs, not popular views or trends, command my behavior.

How about you? Are you simply mimicking the world around you? Or are you living your truth?

This post was created with Typeshare

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