The other day as I headed out on errands the last run of the chorus played over the radio: “Follow your own arrow wherever it points.”
Kacey Musgraves released her song “Follow Your Arrow” in 2013. In it, she identifies conflicting ideas that we, as women, are confronted with daily.
How many of these conflicting ideas have you been confronted with:
- You’re boring if you don’t believe in pre-marital sex, BUT you’re trashy if you don’t.
- You’re a prude if you don’t drink, BUT you must be a drunk or alcoholic if you have a drink or two.
- If you’re obese, you need to lose weight; BUT if you lose too much weight or lose it too fast, you must be on drugs.
There appears to be no middle ground, but there is a middle ground. It is the ground that fits you. It’s the path that YOU follow.
A wide variety of influences confront us every day. Advertisements on television urge you to buy a specific product or join a group/cause or act a certain way. The people you consider friends influence you and make demands on your time. Your parents (no matter what age you are) share their opinion regarding where you live, your career, what you do, and how you behave. Social media and so-called “influencers” on social media also have their ideas about what you believe, how you behave, and your views on life. Sometimes they all mesh together; sometimes they face off and disagree. And this week after the results of the Virginia and New Jersey elections were announced, certain political factions declared that the republican candidate won only because the voters in those states were white supremacists and racists. (I don’t want to get into politics, but both sides need to stop with the name-calling that does absolutely no good.
Kacey Musgraves: Follow Your Arrow
What should you do?
There are some social norms, if you will, that you should follow. These are the norms that require you to show civility, respect, and safety for yourself and others. Keeping these in mind allows us to develop healthy relationships. Unfortunately, far too many people believe that their way and opinion is not only the right way, but the only way.
I’d like to challenge you to look at the things you do and don’t do. (NOTE: I used to ask this of my high school students.)
- Why do you buy certain brands?
- Why do you shop at specific stores?
- Why do you participate in activities and groups?
- Why are you living where you are living?
- Why did you go into your career or accept the job you have?
The list can go on. The important thing is to determine if you are following your own arrow or following the crowd and whether or not you are you being true to yourself.
Thanks for reading.