The conditioning happens slowly, but surely as we are born and go through life. Get a sticker when you’re good, praise you’ve pleased others and shame and discipline when you’ve been bad and disappointed others.
We learn to watch for cues, to fit into a box, become what others need, what we are told is good. Or we learn that we can’t please others, that no matter what we do it isn’t good enough. So we don’t try.
Know anyone who has given up trying? Who doesn’t bother anymore? Have you seen any jaded and flipping the world the finger people? Or the ones still toiling, always trying to be exactly what’s needed for someone else to be happy?
When we stop living to be who we are, what makes us happy, when we start living for accolades, praise and something or someone outside of us to make us feel accepted, wanted, good enough we are becoming groomed, conditioned to the way someone else needs us to be.
That is the work of lifetimes for us, to be de-conditioned.
And as much as we work on it, as many layers we pull back, grooming is a powerful thing, our past is a powerful thing, our behaviours powerful insight into root causes. When we’re not careful, it’s easy to slip into a place of conditioning, of doing to please, doing because we must, forgetting who we are and what we stand for in a moments notice.
It still happens to me… in certain places, with certain people, I still shrink myself, I still hide, still water myself down or brush off things.
The taming begins – the need for acceptance and approval outside of ourselves. And even if not acceptance or approval, not being berated, made fun of, the expense of the jokes.
The more I tame myself the less happy I am. The more frustrated I get, the more triggered I get, the more I respond to stress with overwhelm instead of problem solving. The more I dull myself, the more tired I am. The more I am contained, the more messy I get, the less rational I get, the more easily infuriated I get.
And my brokenness begins to show up, my self doubt, my angry, my victimhood, my pain, my failures all bubble to the surface. I feel caged, like there there is no way out and I begin to feel the pressure of the demands of a life I don’t want to live and behaviours that I don’t like.
Sleeping too much, eating too much, not taking care of my health, not taking care of my well being, not meditating, and most especially for me, not writing from my soul.
A stopper gets put over me. I cannot think properly and my feelings are messy, blaming, outside of me, focused on the problem, not the solution, caught in the external and unable to sink into the internal. The internal has been silenced for it will tell me things that I don’t want to hear in those moments… it will tell me to shirk it off, it will tell me to take chances, takes risks and I’ll scream “how many more chances and how many more risks… how crazy do you want me to get?”
And it will reply, as much as it takes and as many as it takes until you surrender to the truth that runs inside of you. The answers I seek are within, not without. And I get angrier. Because, fuck.
I know this.
Yet, I still find myself contained, dulled, tamed, chained, caged by what other people think (not everyone, my closest people), fear of rejection, fear of it not working out, fear of vulnerability, fear of failure.
Until I reach a threshold where my pain is greater than my fear and I go that extra distance, that extra mile because I can’t take it anymore, because my chest wants to burst open with the pain I’m carrying, not just mine, the collective pain for all women who feel this way, who feel contained in a world that doesn’t want to understand, in a world that doesn’t want to be compassionate, in a world that doesn’t want to heal.
The pain engulfs me as I finally surrender into it, allowing it wash over me like waves from the ocean, pounding until there is nothing left but the truth.
I am not here to be tamed, contained, I am here to fuck shit up. I’m here to reclaim all parts of myself, to stop the systematic conditioning of myself and others, I am here to help you awaken to your highest potential, and me to mine.
I am here to wield my swords in a world that wants to keep taking them away. The taming happens in the busyness, in the getting through, in the “one more day” or “one more week”, it happens in the putting up with shit because we think we have to, it happens in the shutting down our emotions because we can’t process them, it happens in all the ways we let others dim our lights, in the ways we doubt ourselves, forget who we are and what we’re capable of.
The de-conditioning begins with the call to the wild, with hitting the threshold of pain and sinking, surrendering to your knees and asking for guidance. There are some things only the wild can heal. Letting yourself out, the real you, not letting someone else’s fear become your truth, your graveyard. Not letting yourself be silenced, dimmed to please or make others comfortable.
Unplug the stopper from your throat. Find your worth. Sink into the darkest night of the soul to release all of the containment, burn it all down, so you can become nothing more than ashes.
When that happens, rise. Each time it happens, rise. Each conditioning, each time fear takes over and leads. Each time hiding takes over. Each time you come to the place of pain where the wild one is seeking an escape, let her. Each time the wild calls, sink into it.
Answer the call or the pain will get more intense, louder, to make you listen, to make you wake up. For it’s there in, in the wildness, in the unchained, in the coming undone that it will all become clear.
Acceptance is a perception. Fitting in an illusion. Your doubt, your fear, your uncertainty character traits of prey. People can’t take what we’re not willing to give. Finding your triggers, trauma’s, life experiences that cause you to settle, to give up yourself, to set yourself on fire, to become someone you’re not to please someone else, is the key to finding and living your wild.
Stop trading yourself for the crumbs of ill fitting acceptance. Stop dimming down to fit in. Stop silencing yourself and playing small. Stop accepting less than you deserve. Stop trading the truth for money.
Process your pain, the collective pain, pop the lid of the box of darkness, let it flow out of you, get into the mess of it, the guts of it, for only then will you have the hope of getting through it.
Reclaim all of you. Do the hard work that it takes to pick up all your pieces. They are there for you, but it will require you to show up for the journey, to take the steps, follow the path, do the work and implement the lessons.
It will require you to show up as you, because that’s what the world needs. It needs you, what you bring to the world, what only you can bring to the world.