We all wear costumes. Costumes in the form of clothes, make up, behaviours, even things we own. It is a way to show who we are, and those costumes hold great power. It is normal for us to stereotype:
We see someone with tattoos, we immediately build up a picture of who they are in our heads. Fancy designer clothes, expensive belongings, dirty stained clothes, barefoot, bald, casual, bearded, young, old, quiet, vulgar, fat, short etc. etc.
All of those things and more immediately push us to perceive people in a certain way, whether it’s good or bad. It’s down to what we as individuals like/prefer, or don’t like. If I’m not a fan of branded designer goods, I might judge that lady over there with the expensive clothes to be high maintenance, and I wouldn’t even bother attempting to talk to her and see what’s behind the façade. Truth is, I don’t think there’s any point. She might be a lovely person, but more often than not, she may judge similarly the person not wearing designer. We just don’t know, but we can assume.
Can you imagine how many amazing people we are missing out on just because we pre-judge and decide they are not ‘our kind of people’? It’s mind boggling. How many times can you think of when you have decided not to date a certain kind of person because you don’t think they are suited to you (or in actual fact you’ve just pre-judged the way they look/act)? Now how many times have you actually ended up getting along with someone you thought you would never in a million years get along with. I know, it’s ridiculous! Then you swear to never judge again, and a few months go by, and you’re back at square one.
Truth is, as much as I’m aware of prejudice and judgements, and I know I’m very much at fault for doing it, it scares me because it’s difficult to let those feelings go. I DO want to approach the people that I think I shouldn’t, but I’m scared.
I’m scared of rejection, scared they will judge me the same way and ignore me. I know, if the worst that could happen is them ignore you, then just do it! But no, THAT part scares me. It can be painful, and destructive, so we stick to the people with the costumes that we like, the costumes that we are comfortable with and the costumes we know people will accept.
I look up to the ever increasing number of people that don’t care anymore. Don’t care about how they will be perceived by their costumes. They will go a long way. They are breaking through the crowds and making people fall in love with their spirit. It’s inspirational, but I still struggle to get to that place. I want to be free, but my mind won’t let go. It won’t let go of all the ‘what if’s’, and ‘don’ts’, and ‘why is that person looking at me like that’.
Even now, I’m fighting an internal battle. An internal battle for liking someone I never thought in a million years I would, and I’m embarrassingly worried about what people would think of me if I was ever to make a personal connection. It’s absolutely ridiculous and I hate it.
At the end of the day, all it comes down to is how you feel around people. How they make you feel, and how you make them feel. If a person makes your heart sing and your face light up, then let them in and spend as much time with them as you can. And as for opening up ourselves and our minds enough to discover those special bonds in the first place, I hope we can get better at it, and I pray and push myself everyday to judge less and love more.