Stop Trying To Be Yourself, You Already Know How
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This week, a gift that goes far beyond the holidays—the gift of authenticity. Isn’t it fascinating that the more we are genuinely and spontaneously ourselves, the more naturally we engage with others and in ever-healthier ways.
Join me this week as we once again consider how to get out of our own way without even struggling. Stay with me.
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Regardless of what it’s about, do you find yourself growing increasingly tired of trying so hard—tired of pushing and pushing and constantly pushing to make things happen—tired of trying to accomplish things that aren’t resonant or in balance with who you are—tired of constantly changing yourself to please others?
Then as your friend, I have to ask you to stop. Just stop.
For many people, the idea of bringing themselves to a halt sounds frightening or like an abstract concept. Yet, the all- important reflective pause is built into each of us. When we stop to savor it, we discover that it takes no special effort or force, no supreme act of will, and no loss of anything significant to be who and what we genuinely are.
In fact, it takes exactly the opposite. It takes relaxing and letting go of all that isn’t true to who you are.
Yet isn’t it strange how deeply some people get caught up in endlessly pushing and straining as if they aren’t wise enough or clever enough or strong enough or dedicated enough or courageous or valuable enough to make their own decisions.
The strain comes when we’re trying to be something or do something that is inconsistent with who and what we are. That’s especially true when we’re trying to artificially reshape ourselves to fit someone else’s model for our lives. No matter how hard we try, the shape we take on will never be right for us. Regardless how much someone may love or care about us, they can’t know us completely and can’t fully know what’s best for us.
The one who knows you best, the one who best knows what you truly need, and the one who can deliver it, is you.
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How often have we suffered needless heartache because we chose to think and act in ways that weren’t in keeping with our truest selves? Instead of doing what was best for us, we lined up on someone else’s ideas or rules or perceptions.
I‘ve done it and you’ve done it. It’s one of the deceits that can come with our desire for social adaptation.
The good news is that when we let go of all of that self-defeating game playing and stop comparing of ourselves to other people, we naturally and elegantly return to balance and better health at every level.
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So how do we accomplish that? Like other elegant solutions, the answer is to be found in authenticity and internal resonance.
From the day we were born, something deep within us innately knew how to be self-aligned, self-healing, and self-organizing, not unlike the universe into which we were born. Before we started adapting or adjusting to every social input that came our way, we knew how to be completely happy with ourselves.
When we come to a healthy stop and allow ourselves to drop into what I call “conscious neutral,” we remember how to return to that state. In the remembering, we stop wearing the social masks we once believed would make us safer or get us accepted. We stop wanting people to see us as something we’re not. We drop the overlay of old and outworn ideas that were imposed on us from the outside. We return to inner and outer balance.
I’m not suggesting that accomplishing this is without its challenges, especially when we’ve spent years being out of balance. I’m stating that the diligence and the relaxed effort it takes to allow it to happen will pay big dividends.
One of the keys is to do nothing. By that, I mean to stop and let go of our self-imposed, mind-spinning list of all the things we tell ourselves we have to get done—to stop and let go of what others think or demand—and just breathe.
Remember, your innate, authentic self knows what to do.
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To come back to yourself, you might want to quietly sigh a long and softly audible “Ahhhh” as you breathe out slowly and settle back into your own skin for a while. Take your time. Remind yourself that you needn’t “try” to do anything at all. You don’t even have to try to let go. As you breathe out, you’re already doing that. Simply stay aware of your breath. And as you do, you can allow your thoughts to pass through your mind like traffic or like the water in a river without the need to stop the movement of it as you simply notice it and watch it go by.
Then, as you feel yourself wonderfully slowing down and coming fully into the present, ask yourself what you most want in this moment, and in what ways do you want to live this day. Quietly ask yourself, “What’s best for me right now?” “What do I need?” “What do I innately want?”
Then just listen. Your inner wise compassionate witness will tell you.
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This week’s Beautiful Questions are essential ones. I’ll be interested to hear from you after you’ve pondered them or sat with them awhile.
Question One: What things am I doing, thinking, or telling myself that are not healthy for me and that don’t match who I know myself to be?
Question Two: To the degree that I can know it, where did I artificially acquire these habits?
Question Three: What healthy things do I want to bring back into my life that serve me well and help me to be who I innately am?
Question Four: What regular practices would help keep me balanced as I keep awakening to myself?
Like I said a moment ago, I look forward to hearing what you discover as you ponder. Write and tell me about it.
As I say each week,
My Light with Your Light