#TBT: How to Avoid Being a Rebel With No Cause
I USED TO BE A REBEL WITH NO CAUSE.
I figured that one day, my rebellious days might come to a close. that it was a sign of immaturity.
but the truth is, I will always be a rebel.
it's in my blood, and whether my parents like to take credit for it or not, it's how i was raised.
there is nothing wrong with being a rebel if we have a worthy cause. but that's the issue. a lot of us don't have a cause at all. so we're just rebellious for no good reason.
and honestly, being a rebel with no cause is abusive. to the world. to those we love. to ourselves
LET ME EXPLAIN.
if we are being rebellious for no good reason, if we cannot identify a specific part of the status quo against which we are actively rebelling, then we are just rebelling against all things. just to prove that we can. just to exert our autonomy. we feel like we are being controlled or suffocated, so we lash out, a lot like a kid throwing a tantrum. it's almost instinctive, a survival mechanism, if you will, but ironically, this particular survival mechanism could be extremely self-destructive if we don't find a worthy cause to commit our energies to.
nobody likes to feel controlled. i know i don't. it used to be so bad for me. like if i had originally wanted to do something and someone happened to tell me to do it, i no longer wanted to do it anymore. i went against my own will and refused to do the thing i originally wanted to do just so i didn't feel like i was being controlled.
what a lot of us rebels with no cause fail to realize is that by having no cause, we are allowing ourselves to be controlled by anything and everything around us, even if indirectly. because as long as our focus is on the someone or something we are lashing out against, that source holds complete power to control our emotions and inevitably, our behavior.
here are some examples:
our significant other tries to control us, so we do the exact opposite of what they say (even if we act out of character i.e. we behave as someone other than ourselves)
our parent punishes us, so we find loopholes and sneak around (even if we know we deserved the punishment i.e. we behave as someone other than ourselves)
our friend makes us feel entitled to do something for them, so we decide not to do it (even if we were originally going to do it i.e. we behave as someone other than ourselves)
our coach/mentor/supervisor tells us what we don't want to hear, so we completely ignore their advice (even if we know we needed to hear it i.e. we behave as someone other than ourselves)
do we notice the pattern here?
1. we felt like we were being controlled, so we rebelled against the person/thing making us feel this way
2. in all cases, our rebelliousness caused us to behave as someone other than our authentic selves
this was my story for over four years. i can relate to each of the examples above - several times. i was allowing my ego/pride/fear to dictate all of these interactions instead of taking time to reflect on what lessons i should have been learning. and with each new rebellious moment lacking in a cause, i was furthering my own demise. i could not recognize myself by the end of it. and for what? for the sake of rebelliousness? i finally decided it wasn't worth it.
but i will always be a rebel.
i'm just a different kind of rebel today. a more peaceful one. one who examines her morals and values and beliefs (and talks to god often) before deciding if she should rebel.
i think we should often be rebellious against authority, because those who hold positions of power do not always use it responsibly. those who try to control us don't always have the right intentions, and even when they do, they don't always know what's right. but before we can determine if our rebelliousness is warranted, we must understand ourselves deeply and intimately. we must do the internal work necessary before trying to change the world we live in. how else can we ensure we are remaining true to ourselves through it all?
before we can rebel, we must find our cause.
my cause - at the most fundamental level - is to act from a place of love and to do the right thing. to walk in god's purpose for me. each situation and experience offers a new opportunity to ensure we are in alignment with our cause/purpose. when we find our cause, we use to it to determine what our behaviors should look like. it becomes the lens through which we view all things. and when anyone or anything tries to threaten us acting in accordance with our cause, we should rebel relentlessly.
we must do the internal work necessary to ensure we are being proactive, not reactive. we must find our cause.
AND LOVE, DEPENDING ON THE SITUATION, BEING A REBEL WITH A CAUSE MAY BE THE ONLY "RIGHT" THING TO BE.