What comes with knowing yourself? Oftentimes it’s too overwhelming and intimidating, and we return to our previous patterns. If we’re persistent enough to embrace who we really are, it can still be a lonely road. Sometimes, finding out the truth about ourselves just seems to be too much trouble. So we keep making the same mistakes and falling into the same patterns because we haven’t really unwound and understood the root of these patterns in the first place!
The Pursuit Of Happiness
To Hell with it! We say, “Life is short and I need a reward for all this vigilance and self-examination, pass the Kool-Aid.” So, we continue the search, now seeking elsewhere for guidance, and perhaps decide Popeye was right, that we are what we are, and get on with life.
We manage to skate for a while on our latest distractions: a new love interest, new job, new cosmetic procedure, sudden influx of cash, new handbag or project. Yet the gap between how we act and who we are widens, and no matter what we tell ourselves, eventually the suffering returns, most of it silent. And we wonder why. So we look for more, more, MORE! For Gods sakec THIS IS AMERICA! The pursuit of happiness is my birthright!
Doing As You’re Told
But much of it is a facade. According to scientists, our daily behavior is 90% subconscious. From years one to five a projection reel spliced with trauma, false beliefs and genetic inheritance has been cast upon our nubile brains: the reel continually spins out our reality, like the daily press, in predictable neural loops over our lifetime. It seems who we are is simply who someone else (they) told us to be. Most of us were duped and now are understandably pissed!
While you may be tired, overwhelmed and have no bandwidth right now as survival is taking its toll, here is an exercise that may help you reignite your search for freedom of being, as well as put some pep back in your step. The energy it takes to pretend to be someone you are not, to be fake, is extraordinary.
What Is Fake About Me?
1. Get a piece of paper and write down all the things that are fake about you (you may burn after reading, of course). Examples might be that you are:
- Fake skinny – you spend an inordinate amount of time watching your weight so that people will find you attractive or so you will feel loved or seen. You fear that if you were fat you would never be happy, popular, get a man, be loved or accepted.
- Fake nice – you spend much of your time trying to make people like you, manipulating your circumstances by being nice so you can get what you want, while underneath you seethe with resentment or envy of those who dont seem to care what others think.
- Fake rich – you pretend to be successful, you have mortgaged your life so others will think you are a person of worth, you lease your car that you cannot afford, buy clothes to create a false image, live in a house beyond your means, etc.
You get the idea, go ahead and explore all the fake parts: Let it out. You have an opportunity to relieve yourself of the burden of living this secret life by simply admitting it!
2. Be with it. Sit down with what’s fake about you and move deeper into it. Exaggerate it, even. Give it a voice. Let the fake part or parts have a turn telling you about themselves. You might be surprised at what they have to say!
3. Feel it. Whatever feeling or emotions come, let yourself have them. Like a wave, they will not hurt you; they will wash through you and heal you if you have the courage to feel them all the way. (It could be helpful to have an enlightened witness to share this part of the process with, someone you trust to your core.)
4. Allow it. Relaxing into this allowing, comes freedom. In the acceptance comes understanding and then compassion. Including all our parts allows us greater freedom of being. Developing unconditional love for ourselves expands our capacity for intimacy and joy.
5. Know this is not all of who you are. I feel relieved and all at once welcomed back to the human race and condition. We find our right size again. This perspective gives space for a sense of peace and well-being, room to breathe and dream forward your hearts true desires again. Your soul shines, your authentic self is free to be!