Stand Out or Hide Behind

Every one of us wonders from time to time who we are and question if we are who we were meant to be.  I am guilty of this, but I take it one step further.  I also question the reasons for why I am the way I am and how I got here.


Were the chosen paths the correct ones or did I succumb to worldly desires?  Did I make the choice or did someone else choose for me?  Who exactly was in control?  Was my voice heard or noticed or was I a sheep blindly following the flock?


It is a lot to ponder and sometimes the realization of your choices can be painful to acknowledge.  It also can be quite an eye-opener.  I had to decide if I wanted to stand out or if I wanted to hide behind others.  We all have this choice and we all make it at some point in our life.  Sometimes we can start out one way and then make a u-turn and go the other way.


When I was younger I was very gullible and impressionable.  I was also covering up a lot of pain and I did not want to walk alone.  I made poor choices based on this assessment of myself.  I chose to follow others and not to decide for myself.


I was never really alone.  I never really had a voice or if I did, then I never took the chance to speak up.  I just listened to the leaders of my pack and followed them.  I followed them blindly – willingly – erroneously.  Was it out of fear or loyalty to a group?  Maybe for me it was a little of both.


I aimlessly walked around from my teenage years through young adulthood with blinders on.  I gave all of my power away and from that moment on I leaned on others for survival.  One day my world came crashing down and the people I had surrounded myself with were no longer around.  They left me alone and shattered.  There I was standing alone and with nowhere to go and no one to ask for help.  It was here that I began to question myself.


I reacted just as I thought I would.  I cried (my default feature), yelled, pleaded and just plain gave up.  I sat there in this bubble unsure of where to go or how to change.  But then something happened.  An acquaintance made a suggestion for me to change my path and for the first time in my life I chose to do so.  Was I meant to be a follower or was I meant to lead?  I took the time to investigate where I had been, what I had done, what I believed, where I wanted to go, and how I wanted to get there.  It was very time-consuming, but necessary for me.  I had to start over from scratch and try not to make the same mistake again.


This time I chose to follow my heart and I learned to rely on my inner voice.  I did not live to seek approval from others or for others to choose my path for me.  I had a voice and I intended to use it.  I was determined to stand behind it no matter what the cost.  That statement was invaluable to me.  I chose my faith to pave the path.  I chose to follow it and not give up because it may make others feel uncomfortable.  I chose for once to stand out by standing by my principles, rather than follow the flock and suffer the consequences of their decisions.  I became responsible and accountable for my actions.  I had a purpose and the need to fulfill it.


Yes, the road is difficult and not so easy to maneuver, but it’s worth it if I stay true to myself and my beliefs.  It is worth it for anyone who desires to do so.  We need to assess what is important for us.  What is it that we want and why?  Are we seeking to impress someone or are we following our hearts desire?  Do we strive to see it through or do we abandon it because it is hard and not in the mainstream?  Do we follow others just so we can fit in or do we follow our own path for peace of mind?


I am not trying to question everything or everyone about their matter of choice.  I just want people to know that they have a choice.  They can take a carefree attitude and do what the crowd wants or they can forge a new path and do what they feel is right and just.  That new path will be ground-breaking and may provide a lot of wear and tear physically, mentally and spiritually.  However, from this you will discover who you are, and determine who you want to be.  What you decide matters and can make a difference in the quality of life for yourself and what you can give to others.  You have one of two choices:  you can hide behind others and jump off a bridge just because they do or you can stand out by following your principles and decide not to jump, but rather persevere and walk down your own path.  The choice for me was made later in life after I spent too much time listening to others and not to my heart.  I was never good at jumping, so the choice became obvious to me.  I walked away and have never felt better about myself, my life and the new consequences of my decision.

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