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Society has taken a very peaceful turn in many respects. We are all a little more spiritual, a little more Zen, in our outlook towards life. This is a good thing isn’t it? Well maybe it is, but some people may just be losing their spirit by gaining a false peace. I say ‘false’ peace because that’s just what it is: an illusion of being a peaceful person with no axe to grind towards anyone; a stress-free individual who exudes calm in a frenetic universe; a forgiving and charitable soul who takes the sticks and stones they are thrown and turns them into olive branches; a loving spirit who allows hate and disrespect to bounce off them with barely a flinch. What lovely, beautiful traits to have, right? Sure, this is how we all aspire to be, and we certainly all want to live in peace and harmony, but there is one problem: its bullshit.
Now don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just telling it how it is. I could have presented it better I suppose, but I don’t want to. If your feelings are hurt, go read something else and leave me to do what we are all free to do: express my opinion. You see, that’s the thing with living under the illusion that you are a peaceful and balanced individual; you feel that to express anything but pure love and enchantment for anything and everything makes you somehow less of a person; more animalistic and rather brash. To that I say: I would rather feel brash and edgy than feel insipid and watered down. What comes out of my mouth may get me into some scrapes; even leave me feeling like, ‘whoops, I shouldn’t have said that’, but in those moments I’m alive and expressing what I’m feeling in the moment rather than biting my tongue and visualising calm blue lakes washing over me. That may seem attractive but how much of that unspoken vitriol is really hiding under that calm water while you pretend everything is just dandy. Still waters may run deep but suppressed feelings run even deeper, and they will be fighting like stray alley cats to swim to the surface.
So what am I suggesting here? Let me just say that I’m not implying that you should give up all efforts to become a more grounded, more spiritual person; those aspirations are commendable; but I am suggesting that the rebel in you is just as defining as the peaceful warrior you are aspiring to be. It’s like a tiger trying to be tortoise; it may achieve moments of tortoise-ness but it can never fully be a tortoise because it’s simply not in its DNA. Instead, the tiger must be true to itself and let its tiger-ness come out.
If you are a tiger trapped in a tortoise, it’s likely that you feel pressure to be a good tortoise. These pressures come from society, culture, religion, friends, family, the media, other tortoises, even yourself; but letting your tiger loose doesn’t mean sending it out on a rampage, it simply means showing the true spirit that is undeniably part of who you are. Let other people judge you; let them talk about you; let them laugh at you; let them berate you. They will do that anyway, whether you are a tiger or a tortoise, so it’s far better to be a tiger and give people something to really frown upon.
Writerpreneur Magazine has been created by author and journalist Ruth Newman to guide, encourage, inform and inspire you on your self-publishing adventures.