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The only thing I could remember about the teacher was the name Sheba.

15 years ago I had a dream where I was being taught to take off masks that I wear. I was resisting removing these masks and I was becoming impatient with my teacher.

In frustration I said, “You’re just a part of my soul that I’m trying to reclaim anyway.”

“I am not of your soul.” Teacher responded, and I woke from a dead sleep in the middle of the night.

I’ve never forgotten that.

It was a powerful dream experience and one I think of often as I stumble along my path of self awareness. I try to remove my masks, but we can’t remove what we can’t see.

I held a secret from myself for years.

I don’t care for kids or babies

©Elin Elisabet

I don’t hate them, but I think they’re boring and exhausting.

I’m lucky that I was born in an era where I could choose to not get married and not have children and control my reproductive rights and take precautions against any accidental babies. I’m lucky because I would have resented the shit out of forced motherhood.

I didn’t want or like children, but it certainly wasn’t obvious or clear to me.

I have defended against this truth for years.

Not because I was confused about how I felt, but because the message to women from just about every angle in life is that our greatest role in the world is motherhood. (Google “childless women” – it’s a nightmare – is especially rewarding. Gross. Interestingly my google search autofinished “childless women” with “useless”. HA.) We are expected to be nurturing and loving towards children and family and somehow it’s supposed to be our greatest fulfillment.

I’m sure for some it is. Good for them.

Not me.

Yet I would continually choose jobs and situations that put me in a caring role for children. Jobs that I would dread and would exhaust me – I would endure because I thought it was what I was supposed to do. I thought it was who I was supposed to be.

I have made choices again and again that revolved around a “should” or “supposed to” view of womanhood. Even though I’ve never enjoyed or felt drawn to child-care roles, I thought that I was expected to do them.

I couldn’t accept that I didn’t care for children.

I’ve felt guilty and embarassed about it for years.

I’ve felt that I’m not supposed to feel like this. I feel like I’m saying something unacceptable. There are actual people and situations in my life where it isn’t acceptable to not like kids.

I’ve felt like there was a fault in me or that I should feel different than I do. I agreed with people who thought I should try harder or make more of an effort.

In the past I accepted the view that my desires, needs and boundaries were a fault that required growth and healing as opposed to being legitimate, needing only my willingess to accept and own them myself and defend my right to feel and live as I choose.

It is not pleasing to people to say you don’t like kids. It is not a feel good moment. Especially as a woman.

Let go those things and people who don’t accept you

As I accept who I am and remove my masks of should, it’s easier for me to let go of the people and situations who don’t accept me for who I am.

Every moment that I can remove a false mask, and stand and speak in my truth is an experience of joy and freedom.

I’m on the second half of my journey here on Earth, I don’t have time to waste sacrificing my truth to please others.

This is what we’re asked to do to feel the joy of being alive – have the courage to accept and live who we really are instead of who is pleasing or acceptable or easy.

"Soul First" in your InBox


Comics Used to Be My Boyfriend.