The core of your true self is never lost. Let go of all the pretending and becoming you’ve done just to belong. Curl up with your rawness and come home. You don’t have to find yourself; you just have to let yourself in.
~ D. Antoinette Foy ~
I stood on the shore of an ocean; a vast, dark, swirling pool of unknown. That was the beginning of my becoming my true self.
Trust me, that sounds much more ominous than it really is.
The darkness of it all existed simply because I had yet to manage the bravery to find her. I had been standing on the shores, trying to see her world clearly from dry land.
When really, all I had to do was dive in.
Now, I am beginning to familiarize myself with this bright, beautiful, charming and delightfully clever woman, floating quietly in the mysterious depths of my unconscious mind.
I have always been vaguely aware of her presence, and am almost childlike in my curiousity about her. I enjoy watching her; lingering in her presence… finding many nuances, many desires, and many beliefs that I was just not aware existed. Whispers of them may have drifted by in dreams or in altered states of consciousness, but right now is the first time I have been able to see them with any clarity.
This metaphor is giving me all kinds of joy, however, it keeps me from my point… so I digress.
My journey is leading me to believe that our true selves already exist within all of us from our very beginnings in this world; all of the joys of humanity laid out in front of us like a map.
Then, we learn values, beliefs, and “truths” from our caregivers as children, and from the time we are first able to grasp the concept of self-awareness, we begin the journey towards uncovering our ultimate respite – our true self.
This has been a powerful discovery, as I could always feel it within me; how deeply the roots of my true self are anchored in my being. I am physically and emotionally uncomfortable when I am making choices that don’t align with that truth.
Some of those choices are driven by learned behaviours; things I picked up from others, or from experiences I encountered along the way. The first step to releasing myself from this discomfort is forgiveness; of myself, and of others.
I am in the process of forgiving myself for not seeing my own truth for so long and forgiving others who actively tried to deny me that truth through abuse and/or manipulation. It sounds pretty simple, but this process is inherently arduous and fraught with moments of doubt, fear and denial.
I often fear the dark things I have already and will still uncover, I doubt my ability to overcome them, and I deny that some of them even happened. It is deep seeded conditioning – methods of simply surviving these things – that I am trying to reverse. The only way to counter these things is by using step two, which is infinite patience with myself.
Becoming fully self-aware is a very difficult task! A worthy one, but a difficult one. I will most likely falter from time to time. I will get tired, lose momentum and fall back into old, familiar thought patterns and behaviours that no longer serve me. It is difficult to realize that I slipped backward ten steps after climbing five.
With infinite patience, I grant myself the ability to keep going – to never give up on my truth. I am empowered to fail, fall, and even move in reverse as many times as I need to, to figure out how to move forward once again! It is one of the greatest gifts I will ever receive, and it lives within me right now.
That brings us to step 3 – mindfulness – the practice of being in the current moment completely. Mindfulness is challenging in wonderful ways; it forces me to take the (often) tempest of thoughts and emotions careening around in my mind and place them gently outside my consciousness. I know they are there, I see them, I acknowledge them, and I let them pass. I focus more instead on my 5 senses; what do I see, hear, feel, smell and taste? Since the senses are firmly planted in the present – it helps me stay within this moment. When the thinking/feeling storm passes, I can hear the desires and needs of my true self more clearly.
Step 4 – understanding my values. Finding out who I really am, and what I really want. This part of the journey is indescribably beautiful. Being able to really listen to my true self has been so enlightening. I’ve found beautiful and magical things about myself that I had previously envied in others – like incredible strength and unbreakable spirit! I have found innocence, beauty, and joy. I have found honesty, creativity, and freedom.
And, I have found that my values are to maintain these states of being for myself, to share them, and to encourage them in others as well! Finding my truth in everything is my biggest value, and sharing with others how to uncover their own truths, is my true self’s divine purpose. I am sure to uncover more of these values and truths as I continue, joyfully, on this unending journey.
Knowing this, I can move on to step 5; making choices that align with my true self. Here, friends, is the first choice I am making towards living as my true self. I sit at my dining room table, ticking away at my keyboard forming words, sentences and paragraphs in the ghostly white glow of the monitor, and I open my heart to you! I make myself available to journey with you towards whatever your truth is, and I celebrate it with you!
The choice to write this piece tonight was one of the first that aligns closely with my true self. I sit almost in awe of this moment – of the peace that encompasses me. I know what I have to do.
…and all the beauty this world has to offer will find me.