Just be yourself.
Sounds easy. I’ve heard it many times, and for many years, I thought I was actually being myself.
The truth is, I wasn’t. I was pretending.
When someone asked me to do something, I did it. I often did not pause to feel what was right for me or what I wanted to do. Mechanically, I performed. I wanted to be liked. I wanted people to think I was smart, capable and nice.
I wanted to be the ”good girl”. I grew up with the idea that if i did what I was told, I was a good girl. I would get more smiles and less conflicts. I wanted to be loved. Not being liked was the most painful thing I could think of. So I adjusted to everyone at every moment according to what they wanted from me.
I smiled when I felt sad, felt guilt about feeling angry, and danced when i felt like sitting. In the meantime, I lost myself. I forgot who I was and what was important to me. I kept looking on the outside for approval, and lost what I now know is most important to me: My own voice.
My voice, my voice!! I get happy just writing those words! Our voice is makes us unique and extraordinary and is God-given. It is our light that guides us through life! Our sadness, our anger and our joy are all to be celebrated! Now I am the ”bad girl”. I’m the girl who says ”no” to things I don’t want, even if others think it’s wrong, and yes only to things I do want. And this helps me feel more alive. Setting boundaries and embracing our feelings makes us lighter and more energetic. Juicier. All of our feelings are unique to us, fresh and true. What can be better that that? Pretending to be something else? I don’t think so.
If we listen closely, our voice is speaking softly to us each and every moment. Our voice can often go against everything we were ever told. That is ok. It just means something new wants to be explored and that something new wants to come through you. And that can be scary. Because each and every one of our voices is so unique and different, it can often feel alone.
But if we can have fun with it and transform it into something creative, what comes after can be magical. Sadness can become a beautiful dance, anger a beautiful sharing with a friend, and joy, the most amazing meal you ever created. Any feeling can be transformed into creativity. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.
That magic, your magic, then serves the world. And all you had to do was be yourself.
5 practices that help me be myself:
-Accepting and breathing with my feelings, including anger and sadness. They are all there to help me learn something and guide me. They are my sacred truth
-Accept that I have my own truth and was meant to live the life I truly want, not the life others think is good for me
-Follow my own voice and trust its intelligence and its goodness–no matter what
-Transform the energy of feelings into something creative such as writing or dancing
-Not taking myself too seriously. Relaxing and having fun!
I would love to read about ways your have learned to stay true to yourself.
Jivan Dios is a Canadian Family Constellation Therapist living & working in English, French & Greek in Stockholm, Sweden and on the island of Crete in Greece where she offers couples retreats, therapy & holistic healing.
Online Therapy is also available.
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