I’ve been thinking about the simple art of being yourself. I gotta know, though, why’d you stop being yourself in the first place?
I know why I did. My Grandma had been a huge part in the first 3 years of my life until she developed cancer that was stage IV before it was caught. In her final days, she made me promise to be a good girl and take care of my mom. I think she was preparing me and trying to deepen the bond between my mom and I. The weight of it, though, became a heavy burden to bear.
My mom didn’t love herself. I recognized pretty early on the safest bet to not lose another person I loved deeply was to tone down, shrink a little, and do what it takes to make her feel better. It was hard, confusing, and eventually created a deep regret.
By the time I was in school, I started realizing I wasn’t like the other kids in many ways. I tried to fit in, be accepted and loved. It never really worked. Everything I loved and was passionate about, was shunned by the many religions dominating our community. No matter where I turned, I was struck by the message, “It’s not okay to be you.”
The problem is, your soul is not listening. It will whisper consistently that you matter, you’re worthy, you deserve to be loved as you are, you have gifts you’re here to share, it’s time to show up! Your mind will fight it every time, “No! You have to stay safe. Who are you to think you can be brilliant? Back off.” This is an exhausting battle.
There is a moment when there’s a crack or a lull in the mind and the soul’s message gets through. You start to think, “I may end up alone, I may even fail, but I am sick of living a lie. I can’t do this anymore.” You start to wonder, what’s the worst that can happen? Then you let yourself go there. The whispering soul shares, “Yeah, but that won’t happen.” Somehow, you know it won’t happen, that you’ll be okay, maybe even better than okay.
You drop the fight. You start to dig in and root down into that deeper knowing of who you really are. You start to share, usually in little ways, who you are becoming, who you want to be, who you know you can be. Then you start to receive support, guidance, and even love. You feel victorious, elated in finally being you. As you start to look back on the journey, you feel humbled by the grace experienced time and again that allows you to be you.
Dan Millman writes in Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives,“I had lost my mind and fallen into my heart.”
That’s why so many people resist the stillness. Because even in the discomfort there is something comforting in the familiar. May you lose you mind, fall into your heart, and take action without the expectations- good or bad. Maybe everyone will exhaust you, maybe no one will. Screw them! Do it for you. See what’s on the other side of that self-imposed prison you’ve been living in.
Give it a try. Get quiet. Real quiet. So quiet you can hear your heart beating. Place one hand over your beating heart. Tell it you’re listening. Ask, “What do you want me to know?” Maybe you have to do this many times before the part of you that is afraid of not being safe, accepted, or loved will quiet down enough to let you hear. When you do hear, write it down and share it with someone. I’d be honored if you’d share with me. Leave a comment below so I can hold space with love and grace to energetically support this first step on your journey to freedom.