by Kavita Battula, Contributor
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you into something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
–— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Tell me, friend, do you remember who you were before the world told you who to be?
A friend once said to me that we spend the first half of our lives being whoever we are taught to be, and the second figuring out who we really are. Now that I’m older, I understand.
As young children, we never question our worth and belonging, both are inherent because we are here. Then the world beats that out of us. We become seekers – seekers of love, approval, and affection – because those things are contingent upon performance. And our survival hinges upon those very things.
It’s not that way forever. We learn to stand on our own two feet and venture out into the world. But we are still performing because we believe we must. We must go to the right school, get an advanced degree, land a prestigious job, etc. etc.
If we check all the boxes, we are happy. Status, acceptance, and a steady paycheck equals happiness, right? (And by that measure, marriage to an opposite-sex partner with house, kids, and dog means more happiness.)
It might, for a while. For many, that expiration is about mid-life. But that is changing. The mid-life crisis has become the quarter-life crisis. Each subsequent generation is a little wiser, a little more aware, and perhaps a little more willing to challenge established norms and institutions.
Being happy by someone else’s definition is being sentenced to live someone else’s life. That’s not what you were put on this planet for, despite what anyone else will tell you. Your highest service to the world is to be YOU, of which there is only one, and which matters a great deal.
So, I’ll ask again, friend, who were you before the world told you who to be? Changing the world starts with changing yourself. How you show up matters. How you love yourself matters. Fill your vessel with so much light that others shine.
What was the play you immersed yourself in before someone told you it wasn’t cool, or it wasn’t “for you”? Connect back with that passion and see where it takes you. If you think you can’t, let me tell you, you can.
Honor your calling. Honor your light. And in doing so, you will change the world.
Kavita Battula is an attorney, teacher, writer, explorer, and home chef. After practicing for many years at major law firms and in-house, Kavita is now the founder and CEO of KaVie LLC, providing a host of services with the mission of bringing more love and light into this world.