It can be extremely hard to find yourself in an overly exposed, dramatically advertised and increasingly fake world. A world that convinces you identities can be bought, materials improve self-worth, bodies correlate to success, love is disposable, security is paid for and control crosses with addiction. The ongoing commentary on "who does what" and the tendency to look outward instead of in, leads us away from intuition and into a vulnerable place of uncertainty, asking other people where we should go, looking to movies and ads and outdated studies to answer our burning questions.
As we continue down this path, we only become more convinced that it's the only way - in an overly stimulated environment, we lose sight of ourselves as we desperately try to become something else. I was once told, "if you have to constantly ask yourself whether or not to do something, you probably shouldn't." In essence, these are the times that you are considering an outside factor to guide your decisions more than trusting your own gut. In the end, this is nothing but a disservice, voluntarily rejecting the innate wisdom you have to prioritize someone else's path while simultaneously ignoring your own.
Anita Johnson, Ph. D. says it well, "we too need to recognize those who may scoff at our intuitive knowing and be prepared to pay them no mind, to do what we need to do anyway."
Becoming dependent on the outside world is not a voluntary act. It's not our fault that we have grown distant from passion and holism and peace in favor of profit, scheme, and self-righteousness. The very state of living has been drastically altered, even in the past 60 years. The more technology the more reliance, the more stimulation the more expectation, the more convenience the more greedy.
People are less important than prizes and because of this we become misrepresented. We are things instead of beings - looked at to manipulate, change according to trends, fit into what is sold. We are pawns in a never-ending cycle of buy and sell. Our entire lives are marketed so yeah, how on earth are you supposed to know what you want, who you are, or the path that is truly your own.
Convinced that beauty is selective, it's worked for and earned, gifted to some, not all, present solely on the outside. From a young age, we believe that labels mean more than values, creating a gap between self-love and self-expectation. Living by rigid rules we grow disappointed when we don't match their demands.
As we are taught to buy, learn, act, eat and speak like those around us, happiness is only felt when we belong, but happiness by definition has become something far different than one's individual perception of the world and their place within it. Conformance to those around us promotes conformance to the world around us - ultimately handing the trust of our own bodies into the hands of others. This brings me to my next quote:
Continuing on with my earlier reference, "Eating in the Light of the Moon" does an excellent job describing the way humans tend to conform and how the natural progression of society has a massive effect on the way people handle emotions, relationships, coping mechanisms, and hardship. For example, "being popular seems to become more important than anything else. They learn to focus on their desirability rather than on their desires, how they appear to others becomes more important than how they feel....or what they want and don't want.
Fulfilling their desires, responding to their sexual appetites can diminish their stature with others. The media which undated imagery of how beautiful girls or women should look provide us with only one acceptable body type. This can have a tremendous impact on those looking for guidance on how to be more desirable."
Our stance on contentment, beauty, love, the pursuit of happiness and meaning of life becomes pierced with objectifying propaganda. Oppression of certain races and body types contributes to the ongoing patriarchy of rich and poor except now it is far more divided. Not just race and sex, but education and language and BMI. It's more relevant than most people realize, as participants in this society we become numb to the inner workings of its system. We can be blind to the powerful and how they stay powerful.
Resistance to conformance is a social activity like anything else. It raises questions in a world of immediate answers. The only true way to grow in your own intuition is to actively start listening - to allow the trust to be rebuilt. By acknowledging the disconnect between body and mind (that our materialistic world so often tried to increase) we have the chance to reclaim the wisdom that we began to believe we did not need.