Tuesday, November 2, 2010


When I was beginning in my rock climbing endeavors (btw if you are interested but haven't done it because you are nervous I would encourage you to attack this challenge! find a friend who climbs and make them take you, or take a lesson from a climbing gym. Or double win, if you have a climbing friend who works at a gym, you are good to go!), I would always have trouble once I hit the halfway point up the wall. Typically I climbed on 30 or 40 foot walls, and halfway up, I would suddenly find myself on the verge of hyperventilation and my hands would start sweating profusely, which made it difficult to continue climbing without worsening the hyperventilation.


You just get up there and then realize, I am a couple stories off the ground and the only thing between me and the cold hard concrete is some fabric strappage, a rope, some person I may or may not actually trust with my life, and if you are indoors, a 3" piece of foam laid on the ground. But if you want to keep climbing, you push past that place... or drag it with you, thus expending 3 times the amount of energy that you actually should have, just to get to the top and touch the last bolt.

My point in sharing this story was just to say that as I continued climbing, it got easier and easier to overcome this fear. (until you start lead climbing, and then you have to deal with it on a whole new level) This week I've been mulling over the idea of conformity. I think that idea of pushing past your fear carries in this realm. The fear or struggle may be in dealing with yourself and the desire to be what everyone else is or is trying to be, or it may be in dealing with the fear of being rejected or unaccepted for being different. At least for me this was a very real issue I have had to deal with. Even now I am still growing in this area...definitely!

From almost day one (ok maybe there are a couple of years of cultural grace) western/ American society gently or sometimes not so gently pressures us to be. like. From the beginning we are shown a series of hoops which, we are told or it is implied to us, that if we learn the tricks and jump through these hoops, on the other side will be the end product of a full and happy life.

Non-conformists tend to find their own way and sometimes ignore the established system, creating their own, but the same can be said of their paths as well. They believe that being non-conformists and all the alternative hoops contained therein opens the gateway to a fulfilled life, by which might also be define as a life outside of the hoops set by mainstream society.

My main point with going through this thought process is to say that in some circles we have lost the importance of being. just for the sake of being who we were meant to be.

Every one is different, from biological and chemical makeup to the circumstances through which we are taken as we travel on the road in front of us. We make different choices than everyone else (or at least perhaps we ought to every once in awhile) and no one lives the life of someone else.

This is not to say that we do not need the presence, influence, and friendship of other people. Not in the least. In a group, the tendency may be to all become like one another in perhaps a behavioral or aesthetic sense, but in reality, you, as a unique individual, have so much to offer from being the most you that you could ever be. Various individuals through history have either recognized this and embraced it, or just all-out lived it.

And of course the token hyperbolic example: With loss of pain came the loss of depth...

These are a lot of words. Conformity or nonconformity for either's sake is completely the wrong goal. I am the best me that anyone could ever be. And you are the best you, that anyone could ever be. And if I am trying to be someone, anyone other than me, I sincerely believe that I would be missing out on some serious blessing in my life.

Think about it.

PS - today's entry was sponsored by the letter W, for wikipedia, because I linked to it like a bajillion times through this discussion...

PPS - there's a friday foto coming, but here's a little snapshot of where i've been haunting about lately. :)

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