we give away

In Class #2 I got an understanding of how many rules I broke after class #1 when running errands with just my button-up shift, the cover-up coat, the no-see socks and my shoes. Did knowing I broke rules add that skip to my step or was it the freedom from constriction whether others saw or did not see that lifted my spirit? My mother doesn’t break the rules. She doesn’t want to get in trouble. Growing up with stringent rules I have stayed safe for the most part, but less than alive when the rules are more important than my desires.

In this second class it was brought to my attention that it is limitations placed upon us as we mature, usually quite unconsciously, that end up giving us the identity we take on as individuals. As babies, we are sponges, masses of clay on which the artist carves the next statue. As a baby I was told my older brother would do everything. I was seated in the middle of the room by my elders and asked what I wanted and how I would get it. The story goes, I always answered, “Marc will get it.”

It has taken many decades to return to my own self to determine that I will get what I want. Not how I’ll get what others want for me to get, or how I’ll get what I think will make others love me, but how I’ll get what will help me to grow and evolve into who I really am.

There are so many rules that we inherited and mostly agree to abide by without even questioning their origin or necessity. The work ethic that we must work five days to have a weekend off, or work fifty years in order to retire and do whatever it is we wanted to do in the first place is a debilitating rule and one the younger generation isn’t buying so readily, especially since the job market has undeniably changed since the 50s.

We aren’t supposed to make much noise, except on Independence Day. We’re supposed to look a certain way; wear certain clothes in a certain way, eat according to accredited guidelines, enter and act in a bus or an elevator in a certain way. Rules have a tendency to deny citizens their individuality. I remember when growing up I was told in the United States we were free to be ourselves. Yet, in the USSR or China, children couldn’t have their own thoughts. Are these society rules for the betterment of our culture, or the ease of those hired to protect us from ourselves? I remember in English class 7th grade Mrs. McKenna said, “Once you know the rules, you can break them.”

If so much of life demands we do things as others do them, what could possibly make anyone feel brave enough to claim credence to a concept that adding more pleasure and sensuality to our lives would be a good thing? Shutter to think we’d become a hedonist or nymphomaniac. Certain circles would shun us if we smiled more and perhaps even hummed from time to time except when requested to do so?

I was able to sequester myself off the road more traveled years ago. I’ve learned by isolating myself that when I do interact with others, it feels sacred. When I had to interact as expected and as I’d done for decades, I couldn’t see all the little miracles along the way because my eyes had been closed by the heavy pressure of conformity.

It’s important to determine which rules really apply to our lives and which ones we can adapt or shift more to our making. One thing is certain, we do have choice, some more than others but if determined to gain consciousness one can create more choice instantaneously.