If you needed a sign to come to terms with a situation you’ve been forcing, this is the one.
Whether it be a relationship that is past due, a friendship that has long bitten the dust, trying to keep up with the Joneses or anything else that you’ve been putting an excessive amount of force to something that is clearly not budging or ebbing & flowing…cut it out.
Yet, stopping this bad habit can’t happen until we unpack the reason that we are stuck trying to squeeze brick walls.
I would umbrella this but I will just speak for myself and why I’m guilty of forcing.
The word itself sounds wild…betraying yourself…the person you should know best and be most in tune. Self-betrayal is stabbing yourself in the back because you are not standing up for yourself, showing up for yourself and compromising your authenticity.
My biggest form of self-betrayal is a tie between my craft (hopefully turned career) and my relationships, platonic and romantic.
I’ve made progress but every now and then, I internally fight myself with the idea that I’m not doing anything lucrative for my future and that my work may just be terrible. Garnishing my writing with that amount of doubt, fear and self-discredit is almost a sure way to distract me from the task at hand or kick it into overdrive and force tf out of every little thing.
My version of forcing is pushing myself to push out content or lock myself into my room until I come up with a new idea. This totally juxtaposes my creative process. My best blog ideas come from conversations with friends or life experiences with family. I produce the best journalism when I fully dive into the story and swim back up with gems that need to be displayed to the world.
Neither of those two processes align with cranking out content that doesn’t come from raw moments or doing surface-level work and giving bare minimum effort. Forcing it as result of betraying my processes all because I’m trying to do something that is not aligned at the right time nor intention.
With relationships, once again, platonic and romantic, I or the other party has forced the start of the union, which eventually led to ruins later. Or maybe it was the wrong person and the wrong time but I was convinced I could change this person and make them into the perfect romantic partner. Or, the one that I hate the most…forcing a relationship that had turned sour and stale but still keeping it in the refrigerator from sheer laziness to discard or hopes that it might magically revive itself.
My advice to yall, take a trash bag to some of the relationships in your life that just aren’t any good anymore. That’s easier said than done but I’m proud to say that I’ve been doing the work for myself and I’m getting more comfortable with letting things go.
And I’ve forced things at multiple stages of my life, not just the 20 somethings. I remember middle school when I went through the Emo phase which consisted of Hot Topic skinny jeans and blasting Taking Back Sunday through my iPod. My favorite was the preppy n’ pink stage that was absolutely too girly. Granted, that was the time for self-discovery but I was actually forcing those aesthetics and personas to fit into certain crowds or get someone to save me from the friend zone. Let’s just say middle school was a crazy time and I cringe every time I see throwback pictures.
Beyond our relationships, craft and careers, what about our lifestyles and future? Can we please stop trying to push the narrative that everyone has it together right now? It’s okay if you aren’t closing on a house, getting engaged, driving a Rolls Royce and cashing out on big body purchases! And it’s okay if you are!
I figured the majority of quarantine would be filled with all of us hopping on social media more often, so I knew logically that keeping up with the Joneses would surface. That thief of joy called comparison has tried to tip toe around my door step over these past few months but I told ’em I wasn’t home. Don’t force yourself to fit a lifestyle that isn’t in this particular part of your journey. Those things will come. Let it be the right time and let your intentions be pure and mature. Running races that you never were supposed to enter in attempts to keep up with everyone else and rush your process only leads to injury and embarrassment.
By staying true to myself and having done/still doing work to come to terms with self-betraying habits, I don’t force things anymore.
I give credit to the man upstairs, because we’ve been having some great conversations that have gotten me to this stage. I always catch myself before that path presents itself and can identify positive situations because I’m in a better head space.
Admitting that you’re forcing it is half the battle, the rest is all about unlearning and and practicing better methods.
& as always,
In the words of vic…Forcing it is only hindering and betraying the very person who you owe the most authenticity.
until next time!