Thursday, May 11, 2017

They taught you wrong

They taught you wrong. They taught you that being who you are is not cool and you need to change or you will die alone, that no one will want to get involved with someone different and that you need as much as possible to be normal. But what is being normal?

They taught you to give up your dreams, that they are stupid and impossible, to be content to live a life that is not yours. And when you saw people who became exactly what you gave up and made your dreams real, you felt anger and became bitter even without knowing the reason. They directed you to hate the things you liked best and to swallow the weeping, after all, grown people do not cry.

Throughout life, you've been listening to all these lies repeated forms, they turned out to be true. Truth is a complicated word, just like freedom. Sometimes you run away from a prison, only to find you are inside another. Sometimes you look in the mirror, only to realize that you are looking at someone else completely different from who you expected it to be.

They taught you that you need to hate your own image. That your clothes are not good. That if you are thin, you need to gain muscle; Or that you are fat and need to lose weight or that you are gaining muscle and maybe it’s time to lose weight again? They taught you to take care with the outside, the world of appearances, the social conventions, but they did not teach you to take care of your inner self.

They taught you to seek refuge in religious texts, to repeat line after line like a parrot, without questioning the truths behind them; They taught you to decode words, but they did not teach you how to read between the lines and understand that there is a magical universe that connects the books. They pushed down your throat, brainwashed you, rubbed your heart and tried to blind, to deaf and to silence you to the things that move your soul. They made you choose between being one or the other, as if between A and C you could not choose to be B, to exclude within yourself everything that is not accepted by others, even if it is a fundamental part of who you are.

They taught you to hide the tears, to hide your problems and always smile, even during hard times. They taught you to deny your emotions, to try to deceive your own mind instead of accepting yourself for who you are and to make your relationships last as long as possible, even if they have become toxic and abusive, and the best way would be to move away and detach from everything that has gone down and it is no longer good for you. They taught you that in friendship and love everything is worth it and that if someone makes you feel bad, chances are it's your fault, after all, people only want your best. Remember: they taught you that you need to be afraid to do anything you dislike, even if it is best for yourself or your mental health or you will die alone – and who wants to be alone in a world with billions of people?

What they have not taught you is that the more you change to please others, the more you turn away from who you really are, your essence, part of your spirit. You have not been taught that the more you hate your own image and personality, the more difficult you will have to accept your own life and understand that not everything that is different necessarily is bad and that we all have limitations that can be improved, but some things will never change and they are fragments of who you are.

They have not taught you to enjoy silence and solitude and now you live anxiously, waiting for someone who is always available to give you attention and feels bad in a world where everyone seems to do something interesting and you do not; They taught you to be close to anyone, even if they do not like who you are and they are draining your energy. They have not taught you that love and happiness start from the inside out and you have spent your whole life putting that burden on others' backs, not understanding why all of your relationships have failed and you have always expected more than they could offer you. They taught you to be insecure and afraid, since these are the main forms of control, whether in the political, religious or social environment – after all, it is easier to respect what you fear than what you love. They taught you to spend more money than you can afford, but they did not teach how to earn it. They taught you to lie and say "I'm fine," when hurricanes and storms were inside you.

They made you believe so many things that you have internalized day by day, swallowing rusty and poisonous frogs. They made you realize that you need to change or that you will never fit into the world; What they did not show you is that there are thousands of people like you and many of them live well the way they really are. Do not they have shown that you can shine your own light, venture following his own journey and still break all the walls built around you.

They have not taught you that love does not last forever, but that it must be built and cultivated every day, like any other relationship or art, and that it is okay to move on when there is no reciprocity, affection, and respect. They have not taught you that it is better to be close to those who really enjoy your company than to allow yourself to be drained by others or that you do not have to hide the treasures you keep inside you just because you are afraid of how others will react. They have not taught you that dreams can be almost impossible, but that in the first place you have to believe and have support like any other job, and that require planning, discipline, tears, sweat and a lot of work, not just luck and that you will often have to learn to reconcile with so many others activities and spend late nights trying to make things work.

They tried to teach you how to find the middle way, but you did not want to listen. They tried to show you that before you change the other, you need to learn to take care of yourself and yet you have listened to people who are stuck in their own cycles years after years. They try to teach you that you need to become the change you want to see in the world. They tried to illuminate the dark corners of your mind, heart and soul, but you ended up leaving overcome by ready and unquestionable truths of dusty books and manipulatives people with ulterior motives. They tried to open your eyes, but you did not want to remove the veils that covered your face. They tried to show you that underneath our skins, we are all the same and no one is better than anyone, but prejudice and hatred remain strong as ever. They tried to make you believe in your own dreams and you thought it was silly. They have tried to show you that the world can be better when each one does its part, taking care of its interior, instead of imposing its wills to the other and that the ego is pure delusion.

They did not teach you that it is never too late to learn to love yourself and that although dreams are not won overnight, that many have succeeded when others would never bet on them; That it's okay to be yourself, liking and embracing your oddities, in a world where everyone wants to be in the spotlight and while you dread being who you are, someone somewhere is inspired by your journey. They have not taught you that life is too short and that there is no manual on how to live and that each person needs to find their own way. They have not taught you that the nature of the human being is imperfection and that it is all right to make mistakes, to forgive and learn to forgive the other for the things they do not understand.

They have not taught you that there is a world within each of us and that it is okay not to fit into the world of the other. They have not taught you that we all need to survive in some way and that we often need to study and work in areas we do not like, especially in times of economic and political crises. But it does not have to be forever and nothing prevents you from continuing to cultivate your passions in the free time and even if it does not transform into a profession, embrace the habit of doing what makes your soul vibrate and fill your heart with life. They have tried to teach you that we are all subject to countless constructions and destructions throughout our lives, that everything is ephemeral, that accepting transience is part of those who seek to live in peace with themselves and try to achieve balance.

If they taught you right, they made you realize that my world does not have to be the same as yours and that it does not make you any better or worse than me. If they teach you right, you will know how to take the things that move you and let go of what does not serve you. If they teach you right, you will understand that we are too complex for someone trying to generalize human existence and that all must question the truths that teach us and to deconstruct our own prejudices.

They taught you many wrong things,  this does not mean that you need to continue reproducing these concepts for life and continue to incite hatred and violence against what is different from you. If you have been taught right, you will realize that the author of this text is just a dreamer writer, seen as a stranger by many and who like you, is subject to try to improve a little each day and that these words do not seek perfection and are disinterested judgment.

If you were taught right, you will realize that just like you, I am just someone trying to seek happiness and that my truths, my world and my freedom do not have to be the same as yours and that it does not matter which teachers, literally or not, have passed by your path, but all are bound to fail. If you were taught right, you will reflect on your own life and the ways that led you to be who you are today. They have not taught you that life is not a race or a game in which all others are your enemies. They taught you wrong and there is no prison worse than the judgmental look of the other. Break your chains or stay imprisoned, but do not forget that inside you there is always a place of peace where it is okay to be different.

*Ben Oliveira is a writer, blogger with a journalism degree. He is the author of the horror book Escrita Maldita, published on Amazon and the youth fantasy novel Os Bruxos de São Cipriano, available on Wattpad.

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