Dropping Labels and Dogma

So, there has been a lot of drama lately in the raw food community, and it has raised some questions for me.

Who’s side do I take? No one’s. Instead, I am questioning labels in general. The labels people put on themselves AND others, and what I want to use for myself, if anything.

I have thought about this before and was comfortable with certain terms, but now I even question those because in certain people’s eyes you will not be enough.

Do I want to be called a raw foodist anymore? A fruitarian? A VEGAN? I don’t know. And I don’t think so. I know what I stand for and that is what is important, not what someone ELSE thinks of me based on what I call myself.

I know that I do not want to contribute to the harming of animals. But what if I wear my old leather belt or shoes? That I bought years and years ago? Does that make me not a vegan? I give a shit about the planet. I always want to adhere to my basic ethics and will work around them, even if I can’t be perfect, which is impossible anyway.

What if I eat a gourmet raw meal? Does that take me out of the fruitarian club? Fine. Whatever. Do I get my Raw Foodist Card revoked if I eat nuts or miso or dried fruit? What if I get sick to death of bananas? What if I WANT to eat a whole whack of avocados in a day? Funnily enough, I felt and looked best on a high fat raw diet, it was only when I upped my fruit intake ALONG with it that I felt shit – so it’s one or the other, really.

I do feel best on a high fruit diet, but there are times when I question it – like when my skin is super dry or I got horrible dandruff, or other weird personal issues I don’t want to discuss on here. They are minor issues, sure, and I dealt with them for all the other benefits – but during my first two years raw, where I was eating whatever I wanted in whatever quantities  satisfied me, I felt great, grounded, happy, and looked my BEST.

And so now I am thinking of dropping all labels entirely, and just saying I eat a plant-based diet, live as ethically as I can from day to day, make the best choices I can, and eat almost entirely raw plant foods with an emphasis on fruit. My main focus is to be as healthy as possible, and I lost sight of this to cling to a label, or aspire to attain the status of “fruitarian” because I like the idea of it. But does anyone I know give a shit if I’m a fruitarian or not? No. The only people who seem to care are other fruitarians/raw foodists, and the ones who DO NOT care are the ones I admire the most, anyway.

I want to stay honest, and seriously, if everyone did this, there would be a lot more solidarity between everyone, less hatred, etc – it’s ridiculous.

My decision now is to not follow anyone’s protocol in particular – not that I ever did. Over the last 6 years of me being interested in and following a raw lifestyle I have learned from multiple people with differing views, and taken knowledge from all of them – of course 80/10/10 has made the most sense to me but even that I do not agree with entirely.

I keep questioning it all. I stick to my ethics and beliefs and even if something I try doesn’t work, I will keep seeking out what does, and it is not necessarily what one or two people claim is the best way.

I actually feel horrible for being judgmental – this rubbed off on me from particular people in the raw food movement. Before following certain people I was really passive in my approach and just did my own thing and only shared my experiences out of pure joy and not judgement. I was also influenced a lot by the negative attitude of my ex who slowly dragged me down over a period of 3.5 years into becoming kind of mean for a while. I started hating people! And I don’t! I take some responsibility of course. It was a set-back, and part of the reason I left is that I was turning into a person I didn’t like when I was with him.

I am done with labeling myself for the same reason I stopped labeling my sexuality ten years ago. When you label yourself you are ripe for criticism, guilty-feelings, and if you are on a JOURNEY, as everyone is, and things shift, you don’t have to feel BADLY or like you are not ENOUGH. Life is FLUID. You shouldn’t have to feel bad if something didn’t work out for you, and I don’t want to contribute to people feeling bad about their choices!

I like to look at all sides of things and make my own assessments – I don’t want to like or dislike someone based on what they eat or how much they weigh or how fit they are or if they smoke weed or trip balls in the woods. I want to live it up and do my best and be open-hearted. I want to be around POSITIVITY and I want to be REAL.

Being a happy, goofy person does not equal fake, and being a judgmental, ego-driven, aggressive, critical person does not make you “real.” Everyone, especially online, has their schtick, it is not necessarily fake, just like how you behave at your job to the public does not necessarily make you fake – it just makes you conscious of how you want to present yourself, how you want to be seen. Just because someone isn’t making videos when they’re in a bad mood and showing that side of themselves, does not make them a fake person. If I stay home when I’m in a rotten mood so my friends doesn’t have to see me like that, does it make me fake? Or should I go anyway and ruin everyone’s fun?

I will always be real. What I post is going to be reflective of how I feel in the moment. Sometimes I may seem serious and sometimes I might seem ridiculously happy and positive and vibrant. It’s called BEING HUMAN. My emotions shift! How I feel about something today might change tomorrow based on NEW INFORMATION I get. I am no better than you or anyone else. I don’t want to be put on a pedestal. I want to be relatable and set a good example of healthy living and what it can do for you. If I ever feel phony that is a warning sign that something in my life needs to change, and I take it seriously and make the changes necessary. I have tried being fake and it never ever works. I suck at it. Because of my inability to be a phony, I have lost a lot of jobs and people tend to take me the wrong way.

I will always adhere to a raw food diet, or a high raw diet – I don’t know how I will feel about certain foods from day to day! It depends on my mood! Right now I am all raw and have been for ages. That could change at some point, as it has before for brief periods of time. I still believe raw foods are the ultimate, that a human diet needs the bulk of calories coming from whole fruits and vegetables, but I really don’t give a shit what you eat as long as you’re a nice person and you’re trying your best. I’d prefer if everyone left animals alone and didn’t eat them, but I am not going to make you feel like a pile of shit for it.

I have been going towards this way of thinking for a while now, but all the drama going on has just cemented my decision.

Love to all of you.

Lorra

Your True Nature

Sometimes I wonder how I became so defensive, so snarly, so irritable.

I am not generally those ways, but I sure can be! I have a cruel streak that swims through me like a minnow – I always manage to block it with nets, but it is there, lurking, nasty. It is always repressed, but the knowledge that it exists sort of scares me.

I know I’m not alone. I am naturally a sweet, kind person. So how did all this start?

It’s different for everyone, of course, but mine all started in elementary school when I was the easy-to-pick-on kid – I never fought back, I just cried, or lived in fear of everyone else. Maybe this is why I am such a loner – wow, epiphany! Avoidance of pain then = antisocial now!

But the ability to be mean – that cultivated in high school, after a decade of being picked on – I finally snapped, and it worked. I was suspicious of everyone, always thinking I would have to defend myself. I’ve never really lost that – but I’ve never lost my original, sensitive self, either.

I hate hurting people. I don’t like being in any sort of situation where my defenses get riled up. Most of the time they are not necessary. I have a hold on them, usually, but it can take a lot of effort . Sometimes I want an excuse to be mean. After some thought, I realized why – so I could “get back” at all those people who tormented me as a kid, who I never got to stand up to. SO I can prove to myself over and over that I am not weak, that I can be strong.

But random people, or even people I know – they aren’t those childhood demons. They’re just as messed up from their childhoods as I am. But underneath any nastiness, they are still the sweet, beautiful innocents that want to thrive – everyone wants harmony, everyone wants compassion, and everyone wants to feel gritty enough to survive.

Lashing out at other people is not in our nature – it is just an effect of what has happened to us early on (and sometimes later) in life. Our base beliefs are formed within the first seven years of our lives. It is not our faults. It IS our responsibility to change our triggers, though. We need to come out of the victim state – in ALL ways. Make every decision a conscious one, and if you find yourself lashing out in a way you normally would not, be aware of it, and then think about who you are really angry with.

I used to fantasize about my high school reunion, hoping someone would bring up rumours from back then, so I could shame them. I used to hope everyone would be fat and wrinkled, and I could be the sole slender, youthful one – so arrogant, right? But this would have been my great revenge. I don’t think about that anymore – I still think it would be awesome to look fantastic, but more so I can help people discover a healthy lifestyle and NOT because I want to feel above them all.

It’s trite – I am not that sensitive, picked-on child anymore – but I still identify with her – obviously. That child still wants to be able to stand up for herself. Since she can’t go back in time, that fire may spew to someone completely unsuspecting, or someone who loves her.

Once you really tap into this, then you can remember it every time you interact with someone. It also makes you much calmer and clear if you do get into an argument or fight with someone else, or  if someone treats you poorly. You can actually come at it from a place of intellect, instead of your ego/emotions which all stem from SOMETHING in your past. Figure out what that is.

I just want to mention that there are definitely times you want to be angry, to be defensive, to stand your ground. But this isn’t about those times. This is for those times where you take things out on other people and it’s not deserved, the times where you end up feeling guilty, the moments you wish you could change.

You were born a sweet, loving thing. Remember that is your true nature. BE in the world that way – your world is reflected back at you. You see the good, or you see the bad, and if someone is being nasty to you, you will either respond back in the same way, or you can choose to be kind, and they will most likely mirror you back.

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(Not sure where the image is from originally – found on Pinterest.)