Be YOURSELF. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. JUST BE! Thich Nhat Hanh
The day you were born, you were a perfect miracle! You were pure, perfect, innocent, beautiful, precious, amazing, alert, joyful, loving, peaceful, happy, wondrous, trusting, and a divine presence. The list goes on. This was your authentic self! This was your true ESSENCE.
As we got older, we inherited belief systems from others. We become cognizant of what others thought about us, told us what we should be or shouldn’t be. We began to put on a mask, one layer at a time until we forgot the true essence of who we really are. We forget our true authentic self. We lived as our “fictional” self, living through the lens of how the world sees us.
Being authentic means being true to one’s own personality and spirit despite pressures from external forces and influences. It is hard not to be influenced by those external forces. All of the things that make you unique and need to be expressed are the core of who you really are.
Most of my life I have blended in, hid, suppressed my authentic self, and had a lot of self-doubt and fear. I inherited belief systems from people in my life and too wore a mask. I had images of myself that were false and yet I believed in them. I identified myself as a mother, caretaker, people pleaser, wife, student, writer; the list goes on and on, but then I started questioning WHO AM I if I am not just a mother, a caretaker, people pleaser etc.
I started my journey and began to dig deep. I questioned every aspect of my life. Layer by layer I started removing my masks. I began to know myself. I began to love all parts of myself. I began to see the true essence of me.
I invite you to take the journey to discover your authentic self. You may ask; where do I begin?
I did this exercise to help me see my authentic self. I found a picture of myself as a baby. I taped it to a piece of paper and wrote all the things I could see in this baby picture. Of course they were all the authentic things about me.
I found a picture of myself as an adult and did the same exercise. I put both pictures side by side and it was astounding to find out that I listed things that were not my authentic self but indeed my fictional self on the adult picture. I slowly one by one removed the belief systems I inherited. The gift to myself was to find all those qualities I saw in my baby picture back into my adult life. It didn’t happen over night and there were a lot of tears and letting go only to find the true authentic me! I am grateful that I took this journey.
Questions that you can ponder are, when you do this exercise:
Was the description of your baby self and adult self the same? If not, what was different? Do you see yourself through the lens of others? Are you afraid to show the world your authentic self? If yes, why? Do you have masks that you want to shed? If so, give yourself the gift in taking the journey of rediscovering who you really are. Unveil your mask and discover your true essence. It’s vital to your happiness.
Enjoy your journey! YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Written by Natasha Burke
March 30, 2017