"In an age where there is so much talk
about "being yourself," I reserve to myself
the right to forget about being myself,
since in any case, there is very little chance
of my being anybody else."
-- Thomas Merton
New: Audio version
[Classic post from 10-26-15]
I love this quote by Thomas Merton. It's true that there is a lot of talk and publications about being yourself, finding yourself, becoming more of yourself, and so on. It reminds me of a dog chasing its tail in a circle without success.
At the same time, there is something to the idea that we find out how best to be ourselves, finding ourselves, and being more of that which we are, and I think I've found what all of that means and how to be more authentic.
I think that being ourselves is tantamount to enjoying being alive--to enjoy ourselves, to enjoy our life, to feel good, and to have very little or no fear, regret, anxiety. We do that by aligning with the spirit within, our inner being, our inner knowing, the God within. We know we are aligned when we are feeling good. We know we are out of alignment when we are feeling bad, fearful, anxious, frustrated, and so on. So, number one, being ourselves is simply to be in alignment with our inner selves. The inner and the outer in unison. When that happens, we are whole, and at peace, connected to our joy, full of love, recognizing and enjoying our life.
Second, or rather, this really should be first, finding ourselves, or our authentic self is to recognize how we are feeling and know that we truly want to feel good. Feeling good comes from that feeling of alignment within ourselves. We would then equally recognize when we are feeling bad, and now we know what that means, and that leads us to what to do about it in order to feel better: choose better feeling thoughts. Even dinky little steps help a lot. We might move from anger to worry, and that is an improvement, then from worry, we can move up to frustration, then into hope, and on to optimism, to passion, to love. That's all the control we really need--recognizing what is going on, and knowing how to move to a better place.
Other people can see it in us. You can recognize it perfectly in others. People might say, "something is wrong with George today. He's not himself. He's normally easy going and nice and today, well. . . something is off." We sense the vibrations of others by how they are feeling, and we can feel it within ourselves at the same time.
It's all about alignment. When we are aligned, we are our authentic selves. When we are out of alignment, we are easily confused about that. Being more of ourselves is simply being more in alignment.
Think of it as tuning a stringed instrument. When the vibrations of the tuning fork and the string are in alignment, the string is in tune and the instrument sounds like it was meant to sound and music can be played. When the string is out of tune, the music played is not so good, and the more out of tune, the less it even sounds like music. And, just like we can take that out of tune instrument and get it back in tune, we have all the power we need to do the same within ourselves.
Being Yourself Is Just Like Being In Tune With Life.
Spread Some Joy Today--by enjoying yourself. That's how easy it is.