~A Letter to time, Deadlines and unrealistic expectations

I always loved to write, even before I knew the therapeutic effects of writing. I felt protected, connected and I had a safe space to put my fears and my dreams.

I write journals since I was a teenager, and in adulthood, the journals kept getting bigger and bigger because adulating is never easy.

As the issues in life I had to deal gotten bigger I started writing compassion journals to contact my higher self, I started doing cognitive therapy journals to refine my way of thinking and demolish negative beliefs and in recent times I started reading about the importance of letter writing and one day I read an article of Esther Perel ( she is a psychotherapist and sex therapist) on her website about the power of writing letters; letters to say goodbye, letters to say I hate you, forgive me, I love you, etc.

From what I understood, a letter provides Productive introspection it brings you a sense of Integration, self-awareness, and makes you have the courage to make honest changes in your life.
So I decided, why not to write a letter on a topic that burns me inside and creates extreme horror only to think about it, why not write a letter to time, specifically to reject societal standards and unrealistic expectations about life choices and “have it all figure out” by a certain age culture.

With this letter, I was opening myself to realize how subconsciously these societal standards affected me but I was never able to express;

I started to realize that I incorporated and had intricate beliefs in my subconscious about age and time.
I used to rebel and feel angry when people judge me or others for being “late bloomers”, for not having a “linear” career path or relationships that are considered standard like being married by 30 and a millionaire with 4 baby’s and a dog, yes am exaggerating about the millionaire thing but economic expectations or pressure also exist.

I realized that when people asked me questions about my age, marital status, my career path I would feel uncomfortable, annoyed and not knowing what to say because I dint want to explain why I didn’t get married, why I decided to fully embrace my art career which in my country is still a taboo (I imagine in others can still be) because of the belief of the starving artist conditioning and other stereotypes.

I strangely felt ashamed of not being married because of societal pressure, for not having a million dollars in my bank account or have chosen the perceived as “correct’ career path, even knowing that I shouldn’t feel this way because I fully know that you can choose whatever you want to do or be in life.

I never had a problem with marriage, I don’t view it as a bad thing as long it is healthy and both people love each other and it’s absurd to stress myself because of people’s opinions and views its draining and non-productive it’s giving away my power of choice.

I’m not going to settle in any relationship just to make people “happy” and then be miserable because I am with someone that is not qualified for me, does not have my values or standards this is a perfect recipe for resentment and separation/divorce.
It’s better to be single and happy than in an unhealthy relationship.

Writing a letter to time and unrealistic expectations had a taste of something Very difficult but extremely exciting at the same time.

This letter would assume the quality of spiritual chiropractic, realigning my values, as a way to eliminate ambiguity and illusion as well. So I could arrive at clarity and clarity creates change so a stronger and clearer me could emerge.

~Reevaluating and challenging negative beliefs~

Eliminating something superfluous from our lives is crucial, from ideas, clothes, people, or thoughts. It’s important to understand that in order to live a life in your standards you can’t normalize certain toxic beliefs and behaviors is going to send you to a negative spiral, you will live in a discrepancy of your higher values and build cognitive distortion.

By reevaluating your beliefs, you are breaking the habit, speaking the truth, learning what you want and this creates a better life and you are able to sleep at night with no regret.
Acceptance of shifts in taste and perception are expected but those are the rewards of cleaning your subconscious mind when you mention your small or big hurt that you prefer to ignore you start understanding your values, and your identity starts shifting.

The body of pain that you carry will melt and some people that are judgmental with prejudice or areas of your life that previously seemed to fit will stop fitting.

Has I love to say, whip the mirror of your life and start questioning what makes you shrink or feel like crap so you can eliminate it.

We have to make a commitment to stop being conditioned to accept other people’s definitions of us or our life.
I decided to examine the cost of settling for appearing good and “linear” instead of being authentic, in my letter I decided to be open to radical changes, fear or shame no longer will be accepted to ruling out my growth by making others the cause of my constriction. I decided to find my river.

~We are walking on our own time line~

Question: Do you know how old I’ll be by the time I learn to play drums.
Answer: the same age you will be if you do not do it.

We usually say I’m too old for that or too young for this.
I’m too old, it is something we tell ourselves to save ourselves from the emotional cost of the ego deflection involved in being a beginner.

We are ashamed of what people will say about us, the judgments, the comments, we forget that this is our life and no one has the power to determine what we do or want, it’s our ship that we have to command or else we will be spectators of others peoples life’s and how frustrating and resentful is that.

Convert yourself, listen, and connect with your personal dreams don’t listen to people who love to take something apart, but not how to assemble it.
There are Consequences of taking in toxic energy, entertaining this kind of behavior and beliefs makes you feel sad, depressed, and carrying burdens that are aren’t yours.

As a culture, we glorify youth and allow our youth the freedom to experiment and by the time we hit the 30th, it’s like we have an invisible deadline or experience date. By this age you are obliged to have figured it out, we start to think we are foolish we don’t want to look crazy by trying something new, different, and that we enjoy.

We use age as a block to creative work, for life changes, experimenting with new hobbies, leave the job we hate, or the relationship that is not healthy. We have set an appropriate age for certain activities, college graduation, marriage, writing a first book and this conditionings aren’t even ours, they are from society.

Acquire humility to start, Consult shame, and consult your feeling of not being good enough and why you have the necessity to place your worth on other people’s hands.

Stop shrinking to fit places you have outgrown, instead ask yourself what actions do I need to take to achieve my goals? How can I apply structure and discipline and joy to my life for greater success?
Establishing a solid foundation, and confront the societal pressures of aging, of having to figure it out is crucial for our wellbeing.

You are more than your age or career path don’t let others put an expiry date on you or unrealistic expectations about everything you do.

It’s important to start exercising bit by bit the act of living in your own terms, Challenge age, challenge conventional norms, and create your own destiny.

Write a Fuck you letter, write a very honest letter, use anger to help you and say no to Social stigma by re-evaluating social norms, that have historically, suppressed us, feeling that they have expired and are not good enough.
We don’t have to be married, have kids, the socially “accepted’ job by the time society deems is crucial, follow your own clock, your beliefs, and confront your fears.

Defeat shame, every time someone asks you about your work or life with calmness say the truth about what you believe and really want; and if you don’t want to entertain this type of conversations because you repute inconvenient/inappropriate, here are some phrases that you can tattoo in your brain so you can respond in confidence:

I make my own choices about this.
I’m fine just the way I am.
I like it and that’s what matters.
Wow, that’s an inconvenient question.
I’ll answer you tomorrow at 2:00 pm, goodbye.

And to finish, in case you are in doubt about what to do with the letter you will choose to write, you can burn it so it will give you a sense of relief and power or simply put in a box as a symbol of the beginning of your emotional independence and freedom to challenge negative, stagnant beliefs.

by artandotherstories

Emília Duarte is a Mozambican multidisciplinary artist , she interconnects writing, illustrations and painting. Her art is the ultimate expression of what most presses her mind. She is largely inspired by the beauty of things in her surroundings - details in the built environment-her travels and the relationship individuals have with their objects move her deeply.
The artist has a spontaneous relationship with art, emotional and visual sincerity are crucial; as Picasso said, "I put in my pictures everything I like" and that is exactly what she does.
Writing plays a crucial role in Emilia Duarte's life, it is impossible to think about painting or drawing without writing her emotions or reflections.
Emilia Duarte holds a degree in organizational psychology, a bachelor's degree in clinical psychology, a degree in journalism and has a background in fashion design.


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