You cannot push, placate, wheedle or cajole someone else to approve of you. You can hide out. And you can pretend.
But you will suffer.
There was a time in my life when I felt like I was drowning in quicksand. Afraid to show myself, that I wouldn’t be acceptable. So I didn’t have a clue what was true in me. I only knew the kind of “act” that would meet the expectations that I read in the bodies around me.
I was good at reading people’s expectations.
How had I learned I was to be in the world? Smart girl, compliant, teacher’s favorite (of course). The act became entrenched. I acted out in secret, creating a split that separated me from myself.
A Parallel Call
Riding parallel was a persistent inner call to KNOW. In my heart of hearts, I knew there was more. For years I thought everyone else had the inside scoop. I read endlessly, longing to discover in someone else’s words what I felt was true. I was drawn to psychology as a way to discover those secrets. Then I quietly went about conducting an inner search by way of teaching others. (You teach what you need to learn…) The joke was that my choices didn’t let me hide out. I was pushed and prodded to reveal myself.
Finally, I surrendered to the fear that had become the scaffolding for my split world. Holding on to the pictures of how I had to be was so dreadfully uncomfortable that revealing the fear was a relief.
The Curse of Acceptability
What happened then? Being “fearful” became the acceptable image! That had approval in my world of encounter groups and psychotherapy, with the demand for “authenticity”. I defined myself by what was wrong with me and received acceptance from those around me who agreed. But I was not comfortable with this new found me. It felt like a conclusion rather than a journey.
Surrender Into More
Here is what I discovered. You can get caught in the pattern of thinking you need to be healed—forever. Take note: YOU DON’T HAVE TO SPEND YOUR WHOLE LIFE BEING HEALED. At some point you can let that go, and receive who you are.
You can surrender to that luminous light within you that awaits your discovery.
Consider this. Are you comfortable in your own skin? When you look into the mirror are you focused on the parts of your body that you’d like to change? How do you feel about what is beneath the physical surface of what you see? When you are with others, does your concern for what they think shape your behavior? Do you feel free to express your thoughts?
It Never Disappears
The truth is, your natural state is innate within you. Whether active or at rest, it waits for you to return every time you leave it. Your natural state never disappears. It is always present, whether or not you are aware of it.
As you relax, can you feel the peace within you? Have you discovered the light that radiates from within you? Breathe into it. Will you allow it?
Surrender to it, letting the light become a new kind of scaffolding for your being.
Because being who you are is exactly what is needed.
Take Time to Reflect
Now, take a breath. Release it. Take another. Devote some dedicated time of concentration/meditation to this. It doesn’t need to be hours of quiet, perhaps only 15 minutes. Then allow the question of surrender to simmer within you. Let responses bubble up into your awareness. Notice new ways of thinking, of images or ideas that arise spontaneously. Pay attention to your dreams. Let it happen. Be aware. See where it leads you next. Let yourself savor this process of receiving from yourself. Don’t judge whatever comes up, just receive it. Make notes.
I invite you to share something from this process. Sharing anchors insights in your body. It leads you to deeper insight. It stimulates action.
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