One of the things I say often in the course of teaching, and often here on the blog, is that we are what we are. We cannot be anything else. We can pretend to be someone else, and we do that all the time through our words, choices, and actions. But, in reality, we can’t be anything other than who and what we are.
I mentioned this in the 5-week summer courseÂ I just finished teaching,Â Unleashing Creativity and Leadership for Women, throughÂ Stanford Continuing Studies, and it had a powerful effect on the women. Sometimes, okay often, we don’t realize just how much effort we put into attempting to be something we are not and could never be. That doesn’t mean we cannot become more healthy human beings, but it does mean that at the core of who we are is a soul with certain innate qualities and expressions.
We learn, early on, not to believe in the goodness of these innate soul qualities. We learn, early on, that we must conform ourselves to ideas of a ‘better self’, ideas that come from outside of us…which leads us to engage in a practice of continuing to look outside of ourselves for how we should be, who we should be, and what we should say and express in the world.
IÂ rememberÂ some of the messages I received as a child. “Don’t be so full of yourself.” “Don’t look in the mirror – it’s vain.” “Don’t be so outspoken.” “Don’t talk about yourself so much.”
Don’t, don’t, don’t be YOU, see YOU, speak YOU.
I understand that parents want their children to be good people, and to be socially adept rather than blatant narcissists.
I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, and if you remember these years at all you know what I’m talking about. I had two sisters and I know what we were taught. It wasn’t just in the family. It was especially strong in the schools, especially for girls. I don’t know how it was for boys during that time.
No wonderÂ why it’s taken me so long to speak what I know, to love what I see in the mirror, and to honor the soul that lives and breathes through this female body as a soul of goodness.
Consider believing you can’t be full of yourself. If that’s the case, whom should you fill yourself with?
If you were told something remotely similar, whom and/or what did you learn to fill yourself with? If you think about the false self you portray, whomÂ is it made up of?
If you are taught to second-guess the words that want to come out of your mouth or onto the paper, or the images that want to be painted or drawn, or the movements that your body wants to do on the dance floor, what comes out instead? And what is being kept hidden?
Take a moment to consider the messages you were told about who you shouldÂ be, how you should act, and what you get to say, do, express. For that matter, take a few moments. Write them down. Let them roll around in your consciousness.
Then, peel them off of you. Unwrap them from around you. Some might be really sticky, almost velcro-like. If that’s the case, remove the other half of the velcro from your beautiful self and soul so that the whole enchilada floats away. As you peel them off, see them disappear into nothingness.
I do this as a deep, extensive exercise in my course, Becoming a Force of Nature, and what happens is always quite amazing. The results always confirm what I know – that we know who we are, that we know we are pretending, and that somewhere we long to remove everything that covers us up.
Be full of your Self!
Fill yourself with your innate soul qualities that are your essence. Let the goodness of who and what you are radiate out your eyes, spill onto the canvas, page, or job you do. Speak from your soul. Breathe into the world the essence of who you are.
You might find that you have a bunch of beliefs about allowing this to happen. That would make sense. We only uphold this illusional self if we believe, for varying reasons, that it’s not okay to do this. But, persist. Find the desire within you to be you, to speak what you know, to express what is in your soul.
It is true. When you love the whole human experience, you are the miracle. YOU are the miracle. Something miraculous happens when you love who and what you are, and you love the whole of your life and the whole of the world.
This is what it means to be full of your Self, to radiate the love that you are, deep, deep down in the center of you. It is to make peace with who you are and how things are. Then, only then, can love move through you as the unique expression of You.