This is what you call authenticity. At the risk of feeling like my grandmother, I bought a shirt covered in bright cheetahs this weekend. The moment I saw it, I could feel the metaphorical bars of life’s cage being ripped open with my bolt cutters. The confining bars came tumbling down the moment I laid eyes on that shirt, like a predator to its prey, that purchase was mine.
Truth be told, I ripped open these bars long ago. Amidst the noise of expectations, I heard a whisper gently streaming in my ears, saying, “You are more than this cage.” Of course, when I saw this shirt, I thought of Glennon Doyle’s book “Untamed” as I made that wild and free purchase. (You can see me read a passage from her book about becoming free on my TikTok.)
The Conformity Conundrum
Remember when we were told to sit quietly, cross our legs, and smile pretty? Society handed us a script and expected us to perform our roles flawlessly. And we did.
We were conditioned to conform, to suppress our true selves in the name of rules. I vividly recall the countless times I caught myself taming my opinions and dimming my vibrant spirit, all to fit into the predefined mold.
Feeling like a Caged Animal
Sometimes it can feel like we are magnificent creatures locked in a cage, unable to spread our wings and soar. That’s exactly how I felt – restricted, stifled, and longing for freedom. The world told us what to think, how to speak, whom to love, and even how to laugh. It’s as if we were handed a list of dos and don’ts, and every time we deviated, we risked judgment and disapproval.
I knew I had to buy that vibrant cheetah shirt – one I daresay no one else will be wearing – in a downtown boutique I’d otherwise never walk into. Because who cares? I can wear whatever I want. I’m a goddamn cheetah.
The Liberating Revelation
I long ago realized that I only needed to conform to myself. It was time to unapologetically step into my power, to embrace my quirks, and to paint my world with the colors of authenticity.
My fellow radiant souls, that cage was not where I belonged, and neither are you.
Breaking free isn’t an overnight process; it’s a journey of self-discovery and Self Love. I started small, like a caged bird testing its wings before flight. I allowed myself to voice my thoughts without fear, believe what I wanted without judgment, and be the deeply emotional human I am without trepidation. The cage felt weaker with every step, and my spirit felt stronger.
Our quirks, imperfections, and idiosyncrasies are what make us truly beautiful. Like a garden thrives with diverse flowers, the world flourishes when we let our uniqueness shine. So, I embrace who I am at any moment because authenticity is easier and more beautiful than conformity. All those pieces make up the colorful mosaic of you, too.
Breaking free isn’t just about shedding societal expectations; it’s also about embracing our power and uplifting others along the way. It’s about authenticity. As I unfurled my wings, I found myself supporting other women on their journeys to self-discovery. There’s an indescribable joy in witnessing others bloom as they embrace who they are in their soul.
Today, I’m a woman who’s danced with her shadows, sung with her heart’s melody, and embraced the glorious mess that she is. The cage that once held me captive now stands as a testament to my strength and resilience.
I’ve learned that the freedom to be who we are is a gift that keeps on giving.
I learned that I’m a goddamn cheetah.
Grab Day 1 of the 3-Day Mental Health Reset here. The entire course is in the Self Love Hub, which opens on September 1! Get on the waitlist!