My onward journey of living a life I love that reflects my true self has some bumps on the path and recent travels have highlighted a few lessons I need to navigate. Here’s one – I need to maintain my real self amid the challenging influences of life.
It’s easy when I'm alone to be my real self, to satisfy my need for peace and solitude, my need to be creative. However, in situations like those I explain below, I find my real self can sometimes hide and instead the human self who likes to fit in and be accepted finds it easy to surface. There is this inner conflict between the instant gratification of having fun and doing what’s in my best interests.
As I dig further into how my future may pan out, there will be challenges to maintain myself despite pressures from other people. Situations like this come to mind - meeting new people, trying to fit in with them versus being my true self and accepting that not everyone’s idea of me can be satisfied. The logistics of life in a foreign country, of travelling as part of the adventure may offer me distractions from my path. I may meet others who will look to me to fill a need, perhaps a need I won’t want to fill but may feel pressured to fill. In scenarios like this it’s easy for me to lose the essence of my real self. So for me this is about affirming my standards of integrity and setting boundaries with myself and others.
Self-judgement can so easily arise when I see some particularly strong souls who can maintain themselves and their truth amid the chaos of life. I remind myself that this is a goal worth pursuing but I am human after all and it’s okay to fail. My goal in the short term is to accept myself and to acknowledge that I am doing the best I can. If I miss my routine, I miss my routine. Eventually I will remember that I need to create and I need to meditate. It's trial and error. I have the intention to establish boundaries and commitments with myself to check in with myself, and to have daily practices that nurture my true self. I know I can keep my routines and rituals that inspire and balance me, that protect and move me. I know I have the strength but it can abandon me and I fall for the easy and go with the flow of others and life in general and what arises can seem far more attractive and easier than a solitary twenty minutes of meditation for example. It’s easy to forget who I am and what is in my best interests.
I love this quote by S.Kelley Harrell,
“We can’t turn our true selves off and on situationally and expect them to carry and sustain us. Rationing creativity results in bipolarism of the spirit. Our creativity is also our life force. When we turn it off and on like a spigot, we start to become less and less able to control the valve.”
I can ignore my real self in short bursts but ultimately, I know that if that happens for a period of time, then I just feel less, apart from my soul and ungrounded. That’s not who I truly am.