What spoken and unspoken rules did you grow up with that determined your acceptability and sense of belonging?
Here are a few of mine:
- Children should be seen and not heard
- We do not spend money frivolously
- Dont stand out too much
- Don’t make a fuss in public
- Don’t feel too much
- Don’t question your elders
- Don’t be bossy or assertive
- We don’t discuss ruptures
- New things are dangerous
- People are dangerous
As a child, if we follow the family rules, we are accepted and loved, and there is a sense of belonging. If we are lucky, our family rules align with what feels right inside us. If we are unlucky, they don’t. In this case, we end up in a constant inner tug of war where one part of us feels the pressure to stay safe, conform and belong, and another wants to play, be loud, and try new things.
This is where we feel the tension between being accepted and maintaining attachment, which equals SAFE, and being AUTHENTIC, which can feel isolating.
If you have ever felt this tug of war between safe and authentic, drop a ❤️.