As everyone knows, we all hold on to beliefs we are aware of but we also hold on to beliefs we are NOT aware of. Such as the beliefs which are fed by our internal critic.
The voice within, telling you that you just made the most stupid remark ever to your supervisor at work?
The voice that is telling you that you look absolutely ridiculous in that dress?
The voice that is telling you that you are too fat, too skinny or not worthy enough? Etc., etc., etc….
In relationships we can feel pretty unsure when we listen to this critic inside. We even start to THINK for The Others. We assume they hold on to the same beliefs the critic has and start to excuse or to avoid. Once this critic’s power starts to grow, we start to feel more and more as a victim. A non- empowered person, the so called NEP. In Holland the NEP stands for a FAKE person. In a way, that is exactly what is happening. We decide NOT to show our real self anymore, because we assume that this is not what The Others want to see of us.
We are “selling” ourselves as the person we THINK we want to be, accepted by The Others. And as we do that for a long time, we even believe we are that person!
What is the outcome of that all?
Except from the outside effects like The Others seem to like, it does bring us something else; we start to lose ourselves….
We start to feel like something is missing, though we cannot think of what that is.
Some of us start to develop a lack of interest, some of us start to develop a sense of depression, some of us start to develop a feeling of not being there anymore. Is this the price we pay to feel accepted by The Others?
This all reminds me of a girl I used to know. She was the perfect student at high school, always bright, intelligent and very attractive. She was daughter in law every mother longed for, the best at sports, she had a great sense of humor and was blessed with a beautiful body. Every day she heard how gorgeous she was. Every day over and over again, guys wanted to be seen with her. A party was no party when she was not invited or present.
Then, one day, she did not appear at school. No one knew where she was. Later that day, we heard she hanged herself. Incredible! Everybody was totally devastatingly upset. How on earth could this happen?
For some of the students it was immediately clear that this was no suicidal action. Impossible! She was having a bad relationship with her stepfather; one of the students saw her quarrel with him. And the way he looked at her! He probably abused her too! Within an hour, the entire school talked about it and lots of the students were convinced that her stepfather killed her. Directly or indirectly.
Till the next day…
The principal came into the cafeteria at school. There was no sound to hear as he began to speak. He started to tell us that there was a letter found. That this letter was written by the girl herself. In which she told her family and friends why she had chosen for death above life.
‘The reason I do not chose to live anymore is that I feel that I am all alone. Everybody is looking at my outside, my appearance. And there isn’t one living soul that tried to find the real me. I am tired of being the one you all want to see. I am more than a body, more than a good looking gal and more than an intelligent mind. I am me, but nobody knows that. I tried to make clear that I was tired of being the perfect daughter, the perfect friend and the perfect match. I do not want to live in a world that treats me like I am perfect. I want to be the imperfect me, the girl that cries each night is me. I decided to go back to where I came from. I want you to respect this choice. I want you all to think why this is my choice, so this will be a lesson to you all. I will be alright; I will be back in the arms of the universe, in the arms of God…’
No one moved, no one spoke a word. There were a lot of tears. The principal nodded and stepped back to walk away. It took about three minutes before the students started to whisper. They did not talk out loud and the atmosphere was loaded.
I always remembered this, as I am sure, many of the other students will have done.
The lesson in this for me began to change, during my time of growing up. I understood that I was even happy that I was not as perfect as I always wanted to be. It helped me to accept myself in a better way. It even opened my eyes for the insights that are given to me in this moment.
Thinking back of her, I can say that I understand her. And that she has blessed us, every student is taking her with them. In this way her death has not only taken, it has brought us a lot as well.
The questions I want to leave with you all are these:
Do you sell yourself to The Others?
Do you hear your internal critic all the time?
Do you live by the expectations from The Others?
Or do you want to choose for a life being you, exactly the way you are?