Living life on the surface is an easy way of living.

You would wake up, go to school, get a nine to five, get married, have two kids, get divorced, retire and die.

Isn’t this how most people live? And what if anything is wrong with choosing to this way of life?

I lived like this for many years.

I was brought up in a household where I had to go to college. There were no ifs buts or maybes. It had been decided by my mother mainly because my brother and sister didn’t go, and she wanted to tell her friends that at least one of her children had ‘made it’.

So, I went to college and studied for three years for a degree I had little interest in because I didn’t know what to do with my life. I passed the course, even though I hardly attended the classes, and was going through the motions because… that’s what we do, right?

The lies we tell ourselves…

We go with the flow, we do things to please other people, we deceive ourselves because it is much easier than breaking down the whitewashed picket fence.

The point is, many people live, survive and exist this way as a given, without questioning, taking a stand or checking in on ones’ own truth. Ignorance is bliss, for the masses are asleep.

For the majority of people who follow this script, this prescribed system of living, or have had this pushed on them, it is a means to show the world and themselves, that they are… normal. And the others who are halfway between sleep mode and awake find it way too uncomfortable to dig that bit deeper to find themselves. And I am not judging or implying that this scenario is right or wrong. What I am questioning is: Is this script really for you?

If it is, great.

If it isn’t, then somewhere along the way you sacrificed your happiness in exchange for an existence.

And it is very easy to do.

Especially if you have no direct exposure to people living life on their own terms, creating from their core and being equally courageous and passionate in their personal lives.

The only reason we choose to remain blind is because of fear, lack of courage and a lack of exposure to another way doing.

The inability to see ones’ own truth, and act on it is due to a conscious, subconscious, or unconscious fear. People seek the truth yet they are terrified of it and yet, ironically, most people feel that there is more to life, that there is a bigger plan, that they are more than what they have been told. And somehow, somewhere along the way, this idea gets buried so far down inside, because of the system that is constantly shoved at us of ‘the right thing to do’.

Our deepest fear…

Fear becomes our safety blanket and somehow makes it okay not to chase our dreams because we are scared. But inside there is always that feeling that something is not quite right and those disconcerting feelings can lead to depression, as it did for me.

Or, perhaps there is a deeper reason why living on the surface is comfortable. Maybe, we are afraid of our own potential, or maybe we are afraid of… succeeding.

Marianne Williamson, author of A Return to Love, wrote a powerful poem which addresses the fears that block our awareness:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are insignificant,
our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…
We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be..?”

Could this be the true reason why people choose the familiar over the unknown? Because we are afraid of owning our power and becoming a success?

What other areas of your life are you compromising? Relationships? Friendships? Your self-respect?

Since birth, we have been programmed to be kind and nice and to be of service to others, even to the detriment of our Selves. But, being nice and kind and giving does not in any shape or form equate to stepping into your power, owning it like a spiritual gangster and changing the frickin’ world!

This could be downright scary to someone who has been trained all their lives to embrace the familiar, to do as they are told, and emulate the life their parents, relatives and communities did.

Think about it, if you have been living day to day in the safety of your comfort zone with a bunch of other people who choose to remain blind, finally waking up and seeking your truth will shake up, disrupt and change not only your life but those around you. There could also be the fear of upsetting the friends and family, and even worse, losing the love of those closest to them if they do decide to jump and progress with their lives.

Truth sets us free…

Then, it is no surprise that people are afraid of un-comfort and change.

However, the truth is that nothing of value comes easily and amazing wonderful things come with the price of discomfort and challenge. It comes with the price of leaving the job you hate to do what you love, it may come with the price of being shunned by your church, family, friends, lovers, and it may come with the price of leaving that safe boring relationship in search of someone who makes your heart beat.

Refusing to live on the surface and waking up to dig deeper to find yourself is intended only for those who are ready to be brave.

So the question is: Are you ready to be brave?

Please comment below as I read all your comments and thoughts. 

Sky Ashanti is a writer, poet, teacher and founder of Refuse To Die Unfinished, a movement designed to empower people to ‘live before you die.’ She teaches courses on self-expression and poetry and believes that discovering our voices through spoken word, prose and poetry is the key to finding ourselves. You can find her at @refusetodieunfinished and @skyashanti on Instagram or via her website: due to launch early June 2017!

Image courtesy of xusenru.