I recently listened to the podcast Feral Intercourse hosted by Rachael Alaia, featuring Alexander Schueler as a guest, and I wanted to talk a little bit about what I felt about their conversation. I am part of a group of mystic wild women that Rachael facilitates, where we read the book, Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, and discuss the mythology and archetypes of wild women and how they relate to our lives. I have gained so much from Rachael’s guidance and mentorship, so it was only natural that I wanted to gain more of her wisdom by listening to her podcast.
The conversation between Rachael and Ali really resonated with me because they talked about how important it was to live authentically and be true to who you are, despite the possibility of being rejected by others because you don’t conform to the social norm. Ali tells her story about how she lost herself when she tried too hard to be the person her friend wanted her to be, and how she finally realized that she could not live like that, shrunken and only allowing a little of herself to show up.
It’s my story as well; when I was a younger, I wanted to be liked by everyone, which was fine at first because the people I wanted to like me weren’t unreasonably demanding of me. Then I hung out with the wrong people, and I gave up so much of myself trying to make them like me that I no longer knew who I was. I spent every day with them doing what I thought they would approve of, hoping that they would accept me, but not realizing that I was doing it. I was miserable, downtrodden, I had lost so much of me… It eventually got to the point that I hated myself and my life so much that I wished every day that I would die so that the emotional pain would stop.
Then I got diagnosed with cancer.
And it was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. I know it seems extreme saying that, but it honestly was the best thing for me at that point in my life. I wished to die, and I got cancer instead, and it made me realize that I didn’t want to die. Still, it was a long time before I realized that cancer saved my life.
I was angry at first, when I was diagnosed; Why is this happening to me? Isn’t it enough to be suffering so much emotional pain, do I have to be sick as well? But being sick took me away from a very toxic environment.
I had only just turned 19 before my diagnosis, and I had moved out some months ago, but when I was diagnosed, my parents stepped in and took control of my life again. I moved back home with my parents during my cancer treatments, and it effectively took me away from the people and the environment that had caused me so much emotional pain that it manifested as cancer.
It took me a long time to realize this though. I spent a year off college while I recuperated from cancer, and I had a lot of free time doing nothing but think and reflect on the bad choices I had made in my life. I was angry at everyone and everything. I was angry at myself.
I eventually found peace and understanding, and I learned to never, ever, EVER, betray my true self again, for the sake of being socially accepted.
Rachael said it perfectly in the podcast, “I can’t betray myself at the expense of belonging socially.”
Today, I am stronger, and I am unapologetically me. I don’t fit in with everyone, and I don’t need to. I don’t need anyone’s acceptance because I accept myself for who I am. And I love who I am. It might get lonely, but I rather be friendless and alone and true to myself, than have many friends but lose who I am.
I am fortunate because while my circle of friends is small, our bond is strong, and I know that they have my back. In the past year, I’ve also been making a point of attracting the tribe that I want, and my circle is slowly getting bigger.
Listening to this conversation between Rachael and Ali, I realize there are many more wild women like me out there; those who will not conform, those who will not apologize for who they are, who are strong and beautiful and wild. I want you all to know that I see you, and I honor you.
Finally, I want to share with you the writing that Ali Schueler shared in the podcast that resonated so much with me. As I listened to Ali read it aloud in the podcast, my soul recognized these words as my truth, and so although this is fully Ali’s work and writing and I claim no credit for her words, I do want to claim now the commitment of my life to these words. With permission, this is I Will Never Be Accommodating For You.
I Will Never Be Accommodating For You
by Alexandra Schueler
I will never be accommodating for you.
I will never say what you want me to say,
or do what you want me to do.
I will never listen because you told me to,
or follow orders because you said so.
I’m a woman unto myself,
and part of what that means
is being myself at all costs.
At the risk of being unlovable
At the risk of being hard to stomach
At the risk of being unmanageable
At the risk of being confusing
At the risk of not being the norm
At the risk of not being a “lady”
I will never be accommodating for you.
I will never shrink myself in order to fit within your comfort zone,
because I’m so expansive and transcends all confines.
I will always speak my truth,
because I stand firm in my knowing.
I will always choose to not settle,
because I know my inherent value.
I will always honor myself first,
because I know I’m fucking worth it.
I will never, ever be accommodating for you.
Get used to being uncomfortable.