“In our culture we are trained to hide ourselves and punished when we show ourselves. So we hide ourselves from others and from ourselves. It is the hiding of our true nature that makes us feel or act crazy.”
Julia Cameron in From Walking in this World @2002 Jeremy P. Tarcher.
Our biggest challenge is to be fully ourselves–the “us” we born to be. Each baby is unique and special and, I hope all of you would agree, deserving of love and care. But soon after we are born—the need to socialize us, teach us the rules and teach us how to be good people in society takes over. This is necessary. We need to teach children how to get along with others and be responsible people in the world. But many times the unintended messages that come along with socialization is that we are not okay –that something is wrong with us deep inside.
I believe our journey in life is to become the best us we can be. In order to do so we need to believe that we are all people of worth–that with our strengths and weaknesses we still come out on top as people of value with core net worth.
Interesting how we want people to be just like us. Do you have a hard time when someone disagrees with you? Do you want to convince them that you are right? I admit I do. Is it because I’m afraid deep inside that I’m not okay if other people don’t agree with me? If everyone isn’t just like me does that mean I’m not okay? Of course there are issues of social justice or right and wrong that are worth sticking up for. But I’m talking about the day to day disagreements—where we hear ourselves saying something like, “I can’t believe you liked that movie—how could you?” When I can’t give another person the right to have their opinions and beliefs aren’t I asking them to hide who they are—to be something they are not?
It’s a big job to develop our foundation enough so that we don’t need reassurance that we are okay whether others agree with us or not.
So how do we begin? What can I do today to tell the core of me that I believe in me? What do I do that expresses the best of me to the world? What dreams did I have as a child did I let go of as not practical but a part of me still longs for? Could I do something with that? Could I sing or paint or dance–not to make it a career–but because part of my soul demands it? Have I been not taking care of my basic needs for sleep, exercise and nutrition? What can I do to send a message to my core that I am willing to take care of me and therefore be more able to be a compassionate presence in the world? If we listen deep inside there is a voice that is longing for something. Can we be quiet long enough to hear it and are we brave enough to listen and to give it ourselves?
My wish for us all is the day when I’m okay being fully me and you are okay being fully you and we are both okay with each other. Big dream, eh?
“To be nobody but yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” e e cummings (1894 – 1962)