Friday, December 14, 2012

Give Yourself Permission

I think, therefore I am. René Descartes

I don’t think: does that mean I don’t exist?
I am who I hope I am.
I am who my parents think I am.
I am who he/she/they/it “makes” me feel that I am.
I am my history.
I hope this is not who I am.
I am my secret.
I am not him. I am not her.
I am whatever I am feeling at the moment.

Each of us is a once in eternity being. Rather than discovering and developing our unique identities, however, most people go through life allowing others to define them, often trying on other identities as if they were shopping at a Department store looking at various suites of clothing. “This looks promising. I think I will wear this identity for a while. Does it come in blue?”
People look at us but they can’t see our true selves. Our voices belong to mom and dad; our feelings are manufactured so as to better fit in with our tribe; our brains are filled with ideas we mindlessly adopted from others as teenagers; our souls have been rented out to television.
We hide so much of our truth: the truth of what we think, feel, and believe. I hid my emotions. Still find myself doing so. I rarely have any middling emotions. Most every thing I feel is with incredible intensity. On top of this I am quite sensitive. When I was very young, for some damnable reason, I choose to hide this and become a card carrying Stoic. Why? Why choose to steel myself against my true experiences of the world around me? Why expend all this wasted energy on pretending to be other than I am? And what happens when these emotions spill over my steel wall of resolve? People wonder where the real Monte went. “Sorry, folks: that was him. Give me a few minutes and I’ll get him down to the basement back in his chains.”
 I have coached and counseled so many people who are waiting for their parents, siblings, friends or churches to give them permission to be their true selves. “But what if they don’t approve of this self?” Why relate to the world out of such weakness? Why are guilt, fears and anxieties holding you back from the freedom that comes with being who you truly are? Give. Yourself. Permission. As Rabbi Zusya said, “In the world to come I will not be asked, ‘Why were you not Moses.’ I shall be asked, ‘Why were you not Zusya.’”
It is rare to meet a free soul, an authentic (self-generated) individual who does not take his cues from the world for his way of being or for his thoughts, ideals, beliefs, and behaviors. You know when you are around such people. You feel good around them: very good. Or I do, anyway.

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2012 

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