The Importance of Self-Expression

No matter who you are, you deserve the right to live an authentic life, true to who you are as an individual.

However, we all know it isn’t as easy as wishing it so. Here in the West we champion self-reliance, independence etc., but when someone wants to be expressive about their individuality, society as a whole aren’t always on board.

Culturally speaking, we have made great strides in acceptance and tolerance of others, especially over my short lifespan. While the past couple years have seen rises in hate crimes, xenophobia, and the rise of the ‘us vs. them’ mentality, I would like to think that we can still move forward in the right direction.

Being true to who you are, and being open about your experiences is very much a healthy way to live. The cognitive dissonance of feeling one way, but having to act another takes a toll on our mental health, and can be a source of undue stress in our lives.

Now of course if we suddenly reveal our true selves after living a certain way for many years, it can be very distressing. Relationships are likely to be strained, and it may be difficult for others to respect us as we once were. There may be serious consequences in regards to our occupation or living status.

But I believe that in the long-run the benefits outweigh the costs. I encourage you to be open about who you are, and live authentically. If we encourage ourselves and others to be who they want to be, and express themselves however they want to, then I think we’d all be living much happier lives.

Be brave. Be yourself.

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