How often have we heard “just be yourself?” In the *classes I’ve been taking for three years, one of the main truths in each class is to be the best you you can be. We also hear “if people don’t like you for yourself, they’re not worth being around.” Um, yeah, but what if you want to be around them? This, too, refers back to the ‘being the best you.’ If we carry around that internal sign that says in big bold letters “I’M NOT WORTHY. I’M NOT PERFECT. I’M NOT SPECIAL,” I say to that statement what we say in class when someone make a self-deprecatory remark: “Delete! Delete! Delete!” Repeat as often as necessary. What we all are is WORTHY, PERFECT, AND SPECIAL. Once we get that concept firmly in our heads, we can better decide with whom we want to spend our time.
My first thought upon hearing that I should be the best ME I can be was ‘but I’m so messy!” My house isn’t well-organized. My gardens are a-riot with weeds. My makeup basket probably holds more toxic crap than a nuclear waste facility. My thoughts aren’t organized; they go springing off in all directions like a herd of spastic rabbits with ADHD. Speaking of that, I have huge dust-bunnies under our bed and have to enlist the Crankee Yankee (my husband) to lie down on his side to sweep them all out–if I remember to ask. My yearly resolution to organize all my craft crap has become a yearly non-event, and I probably have replaced more stuff than I needed to, only because I can’t find the stuff I was looking for originally.
This messy state goes straight to my brain, too. I think of all those things I should be doing when I have spare time..but do I do them. Nooooooo. Mostly if there is a “found” minute or two, I will do one of these things: read, walk, nap, or make a snack. If I were a guru, my name would be ‘She of the Great Colander Mind’, as so much slips through all those tiny holes in my brain.
My emotions are similarly messy. When someone makes me angry, my knee-jerk alligator brain fires off the impulse to A) throw something (preferably at the person who got me mad in the first place), B) yell and swear, or C) say or do to them what they did to me. How very evolved of me! After I cool down, I think of all the “right” responses, such as wondering out loud what emotional state my pisser-off (I being the pissed-on) was in to be so rude. Putting myself in the other person’s shoes make me feel like (and probably look like) one negative person and one positive person in the same body.
When I interact with someone, I always feel afterwards that I have made a giant ass out of myself and that they probably think I’m certifiable. I’m way past being an awkward teen, but I still stammer and blush when I attempt to ‘speak my truth.’ Honestly, it’s like being a toddler all over again; stumbling, falling hard on our butts, crying in frustration and often wetting ourselves (yup, you heard me–start life with diapers and end with ‘em, too).
Being authentic doesn’t come easily. It involves being in touch with your true self and knowing the real, unvarnished, un-prettied-up version of yourself. It means that we have to really hear ourselves; what do we really want? What do we really want to say? Some of us may be thinking, ‘oh, I’m nothing special,’ thinking that modesty is better than self-aggrandizing. What we need to learn and appreciate about ourselves is who we are and what we bring to the planetary table.
Here’s a great example: during this month’s class we went around the table to answer the question posed to us: “What is your super power?” One woman had a really hard time with this one; she couldn’t think of anything she felt was ‘super’ enough about her. Our teacher told her, “you are the first person people see when they walk into the office [in which she works]. No matter who walks in and whatever mood they are in, they see your smile. If they are feeling badly, that smiles warms and welcomes them. If they are already feeling good, that smile just reinforces that good feeling. Your super power is that smile that you give to every single person you see. You may never know the full impact of it on others, but you are lighting up the world, one person at a time.”
WOW!!! Isn’t it worth exploring who the real honest-to-goodness person who lives and breathes in your skin each and every day really is? The outward appearance that we all see is ONLY the outside. If we could see ourselves and all others as the uniquely beautiful, creative, and incredible beings that we REALLY are, we would fall over backwards in complete and total amazement.
So, that being said, yes–being yourself is damned messy. I am living proof of the messiness of living my truth–I am not perfect but I won’t stop trying to be who I am every breath of every day.
*Classes are developed and taught by the wonderful Noreen McDonald at noreenmcdonald.com.