Boldly existing outside the box through conscious living and constant learning.
Conformity. Mediocrity. Passivity.
These are concepts we talk about a lot here at Unboxed Life. What is it that all these concepts have in common or ties them together? What is the question that begs to be asked when we adopt the disdain of the above ways of living?
When I look around, I learn something, and that is…to be always yourself. And to express yourself, to have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate him. That’s the prevalent thing today, though. They [people today] never start from the root of their being, that is–how can I be me?
How can I be me? A question that at first glance seems to be simple or not worth contemplation. But upon reflection we can see how actually difficult it is to answer this. What we think of as being “ourselves” is often a byproduct of what we think we should be and what others want us to be. How often to we dictate how we live our life by what we see others doing? To find the answers to this question we have to open up our mind, look at the world and our purpose in it with new eyes, ones that are free from the predisposed ideas we have about who we are, and see who we are meant to be.
There seems to exist an underlying fear in our society of being labeled “different” or “unique” like those makes us into something specific. Those things that we are when we are different have a negative connotation and thus have become things to avoid. We are placed in tidy boxes where we are told what is and isn’t socially acceptable and are told to choose our life from these choices. What if who I am isn’t one of the choices?
This sad fact exists whether we like it or not. Agreed? The power we can draw from it is to acknowledge it, but not let it dictate our actions and seek out the best us from what is in our heart and soul. You can call it purpose. A calling. A destiny. Or you can just call it doing what feels good. No matter what you want to call it, the idea is to shed the weights of expectation and uniformity and to pursue your individual purpose here on Earth. Not only will your life have more happiness and purpose, but your light will shine on others and help them to escape the bondage of their own boxes simply by seeing your example.
This is where the next, and probably more important part of this pursuit comes in. Ask yourself, am I not only being me to my fullest extent, but am I creating a space where others get to be their best too, flaws and all? A world where we live independent of each other and our actions don’t affect others is not the world we live in or a world that would be very much fun to be in. We should each be doing whatever we can to help others realize their own best version of themselves even if we don’t see it as the best for us. That is the beautiful part, we can all be our own best and it doesn’t take away from my happiness to see others being happy. This means not judging, tearing down, or otherwise placing barriers around others. You can have your opinions, thoughts, and values, but realize that others have them too and yours are not more right than theirs.
It is difficult when you feel like you are living your life the best way you know how and all you get from others is misunderstandings, judgment, ridicule, and negativity. No one will be able to fully realize their potential when they are surrounded by that. This is not to say that we don’t wrong others from time to time. We have all done it, made mistakes, we are human. Part of us being our best versions and also helping others be their best is practicing forgiveness. There is a line in my favorite movie that goes, “When you forgive, you love, and when you love, God’s light shines on you.” This sort of says it all, that forgiveness is as much for you as it is for the person you are forgiving. Allow others to be imperfect, to learn, and to pursue their purpose in life. That’s what we are all here to do right?
Let’s all start from the root of things, the very basis of what it means to live. Let’s leave behind all the barriers and boxes that seek to stifle our growth as individual beings. Have faith in yourself, and more importantly, have faith in others that behind all the shit that happens in life, we are all here, together, just trying to get by and find what this life means. Instead of tearing that down or building up walls, seek to find what it means to be you, and help others find what it means to be them.
All photos: Taken by Tanner Colton, all rights reserved 2012