We all have CULTURE.
If you are alive (and you are because you are reading this post) you have been raised in some culture. You have been taught that you do somethings and not others. For instance, if you are Hindu you probably are taught to not eat beef. If you are Jewish or Muslim you probably do not eat pork.
These are the easy things to identify. These are easy to follow or not follow. If you choose to not follow them you probably do so knowingly and are prepared for the social backlash from family and friends if you decide to break the “rules.”
BUT what about those rules/norms that are not so easily identified?
Like maybe who you should or should not date?
What about the kinds of work you should do. Perhaps it sounds like this ” Boys in this family do NOT become ballet dancers!”
Or Girls in this family marry by the age of 22 and do not work outside the home and have 12 children and cater to every whim and fancy of everyone … ok so you get the idea.
Actually this last part is probably not so explicit. It may sound like:
“Well you know you are getting older, who will marry you after 23,or 33 or 50!”
Being willing to investigate the cultural shadow means consciously looking at our collective history even if its 5000 years worth of it.
If any of these questions grab your attention, allow yourself to be present with whatever it brings up. Try not not push it (the emotions, feelings) away. Know that these feelings will pass and you can go on with your day.
Being present (to whatever is happening in your life) is the greatest gift you can give yourself.