Much of the self help world doesn’t begin to address what we really need: what you need, what I need, what anyone needs in our lives. That’s because our current state of evolution is so fast, that what made sense even a few years ago is no longer current or relevant to where we can go today.
Recently, I was invited to take part in a seminar that promised it would teach me how to access my authentic self. That sounded great! Who doesn’t want to live authentically? But as I looked at the list of all the things this seminar promised, all I could think was: I’m already there.
In a nutshell, the seminar promised that I would discover:
- What’s holding me back;
- How to love who I really was;
- How to live by my own rules; and
- How to come into full self expression.
Whew! Now, these all sound wonderful. But at this point in my life, after many years of struggling and stumbling and wandering lost in the desert, I’m not there any more. At this point in my life, like Oprah’s column What I Know for Sure, what I know is that:
Nothing is holding me back. A soon as I feel something limiting me, I look at it and get rid of it; that sometimes this takes time, but letting go of limits is always in process; and I am myself fully at all moments—good, bad, ugly, in all ways I am always myself.
I don’t expect perfection. In fact, I’m sure I won’t ever achieve it. I’m okay with all my flaws and faults, in addition to my more developed qualities. In fact, even though I am not perfect, I love myself in all ways—full acceptance of all parts of myself. Yep. What else can I do?
Furthermore, I already believe my life is my own to create. How could it be otherwise? As an adult living in the time and culture where I live, nobody else is in charge of me but me.
And finally, everything I do is my full self expression. Again, how could it be otherwise? I fully inhabit myself, and I am a work in progress. This is the same for everyone.
There’s this myth that we aren’t living who we really are … when in fact, we are living exactly who we are, every minute of the day.
If we are in fear, we are living fear. If we are in anxiety, we are living anxiety. If we are in shame, we are living shame. If we are in anger, we are living anger.
We are always living exactly the consciousness that we have achieved, in that moment. There is no falseness to this.
In addition, we always have the ability to move beyond where we are now—from one stage of authenticity, to another.
For example, you can live in shame for decades, and then suddenly just decide that it’s not your problem, it’s not your story, you don’t want to live there any more, and in that moment of choice, you break free from that old image or idea of yourself, and suddenly it just all dissipates and dissolves and you can’t even remember, after a few years, the problems you were dealing with back then.
Your self is always shifting, changing and moving. Another way of putting it: wherever you are? You are here.
Be thankful for exactly who you are, at this moment. With all your foibles and flaws, all your struggles. Life is a series of experiences that show us the way. At any moment, we can drop our story, drop our old view, and move into a new state. We may do this today. It may take us years to do this. Wherever you are now, is your absolute authentic self in this moment. Be grateful.
Excerpted from Living a Life of Gratitude: Your Journey to Grace, Joy & Healing (Llewellyn, 2013.)