We all have things we feel we have to do. Little tasks or responsibilities we feel we can’t avoid. Some people feel they can’t say no. Or there could be a sense of being loyal to family or friends. It could be feeling like you must have a spic and span house, or a face full of makeup when you are out in public. Fitting in with a social crowd. It could be acting in a certain way so as not to incite a negative reaction. The list of GOTTA’S can be long, and individual to each one of us.

There are, of course, certain responsibilities and tasks which are required and are not in any way compromising who we are as people. For example, raising our children, they do come first but not to the exclusion of all else. As parents we should look after them and feed them right, teach them right from wrong, ensure they get medical attention when needed, and above all respect and love them as they should be. And we do need to discipline our children, teach them to respect others and themselves. A child’s needs are extremely important. But we also need to take care of ourselves so we can be there for the next generation.

I grew up believing I had to be useful and just take care of things, fix problems. And once I outlived this I was no longer of value. But one thing I have realised what we can do and are capable of doing, changes all the time. And how we are of use can also change. There is no set way of doing, being, or of behaving.

How many times have we said to ourselves I have got to do this or I have got to do that? I know I would have said it multiple times a day. One thing for me was being loyal to family, no matter what. But that works both ways. It has to be a mutual thing otherwise you end up resentful and frustrated and most of all taken advantage of.

I have family who have lied about me and kept my existence a secret. But not because I am a bad person or that I have done something bad or wrong. In fact, the opposite is the case. My family has a dirty little secret and this would bring their world crumbling down if it was to become public knowledge. And the worst part the next two generations have been poisoned against me because of this. For so many years I felt a sense of loyalty to people who could care less about me. And all because I felt I was told this was the way it should be.

How many of us dress a certain way or act a certain way, hang out with the right people because we feel we have to. So many people buy into the whole materialistic way of life. We have to have the latest gadgets, or the right handbag, the biggest TV screen; the list goes on. It has gotten to the stage where the new mental illness is hoarding and we find we need bigger houses or storage. We live using credit just to have what everyone else supposedly has, NOW.

Women are brainwashed into believing we should be a certain size and weight. We have to present ourselves in a certain way to be desirable or accepted. And it isn’t just women, in recent years, men have bought into the idea that they have to look athletic etc.

Young men now struggle to maintain a certain image and have developed eating disorders as a way to cope. Men are taught not to be emotional creatures because men don’t show their emotions. The suicide rate in men has risen because they have little coping skills when it comes to dealing with the moments in life that test us. A lot of men don’t cope well with the break up of a long-term relationship and often turn to addictive behaviours or contemplate suicide because they can’t cope.

Children have become so spoilt and expect everything because we live in a world where kids must have everything in order to fit in or not be bullied.

We as a race follow the pack in order to feel like we belong and we fit in. But really is it worth it? We compromise who we are because of this ‘Gotta’ attitude. We fear rejection because we are social animals. How many of us judge others who don’t fit into a societal view of what is acceptable? How many of us try to be something we are not, just to fit in? I know I have.

We are all made unique and different for a reason. We are all individuals. And there is nothing wrong with that. Because if there was, then we would all have been made the same, otherwise.

Honour your family and remain loyal to them but don’t compromise who you are as an individual to do that. The same goes for everything in life. You are made the way you are for a reason. Not everyone can be an artist or a lawyer or a doctor. We all have unique talents and abilities. We all have different needs and desires. We all can’t fit into a box, this is not how the world was meant to be. No one way is right or wrong. Honour who you are and don’t live up to expectations that don’t allow you to be yourself.





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