Surrender to being who you are. You are exactly what is needed.

surrenderTry as you might, you cannot pummel yourself into being anyone other than who you are. 

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.

Inner Separation

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.

broken_iceBeneath the face I showed to the world was a brittle fragility. I felt powerless to live life freely.

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

meditation drawing colorHere 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

lake summerNow, 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.

Scroll down and add your comments. We’d love to hear from you!


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18 Responses

  1. It took me many years to surrender to being myself, to being who I am… As I read your words I thought you wrote them with me in mind! I guess this may be a common feeling for many folks, but oh yes, I completely relate. The hiding, the acting, the teacher’s favorite, the smart girl, the people pleaser. Lost who I really was for such a long time.

    And then the seeking, the questions, knowing there were the answers somewhere, and caring deeply enough to keep looking: therapy, reading everything, talking with other like-minded people.

    And step by step, inch by inch, and growth by growth, I gave up fear and judgment of myself. Sometimes I feel it still – and then I laugh! Saying “I don’t give a damn!” helps a lot!

    Where on earth did me get/inherit/learn this level of self consciousness and self doubt? I guess it comes along with consciousness, as the animals do not experience this. But we are so newly conscious as a species we still carry so much FEAR.

    Thanks, Laurie, love your posts,

    Diana

    1. Laughter in the face of resurfaced judgment and fear is truly “best medicine,”Diana! Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s good for me to hear how you relate.

      Laurie

  2. Hi Laurie,
    I enjoyed your Friday Focus posting. For most of my life I was driven by fear, doubt and anxiety. A couple of years ago I discovered mindfulness and things in my life changed for the better. I still stuggle with fear, etc. but I think I have more up days than down days.

    Thanks,
    David

    1. Hi David,

      Thank you! Living mindfully allows the witness to develop, doesn’t it? That always allows me space in which to see fear and anxiety and let them move through me rather than identify them as “me.”

      Laurie

  3. I love what you had to say about being trapped in the pattern of “thinking you need to be healed.” Self acceptance is a huge gift. Good post. Thanks.

  4. The first line in this post really arrested my attention and made me stop and focus on what you were saying rather than just skimming through the article. It’s this realization – that it is okay to be ALL of who I am – that has led to my success and happiness. Hiding out was so painful, more painful than standing out. I am learning to release my judgement of myself and my fear of being judged and focus on just being me: silly, creative, smart, focused, intent, goofy… it’s all me! Thanks for this fabulous Friday Focus, definitely got me thinking!

    1. Hi Minette–Hiding out is way more painful than standing out, but often you don’t discover that until you are willing to take the leap. I love “silly, creative, smart, focused, intent, goofy”–sounds like a great friend resume! I’m glad this got you thinking and I appreciate your sharing.

      Laurie

  5. Beautifully written Laurie! Isn’t this just such an entrenched ‘condition’ in society, especially in women? To people please and conform. I love the way you described your realisations leading to freedom to be YOU, in all your glorious radiance;)

    1. Thanks Tina! I’m aware of the pattern of hiding out with both men and women. It think it just shows up differently.
      Laurie

  6. Hi Laurie,

    I recognise your journey as my own. I do think though, that the feeling the fear and crap part led to the recognition of what needed to be released – then it seemed to happen of it’s own accord. A fascinating journey to wisdom with its own timing. The main thing is to remember “When you’re going through helll, keep going!” The light is always there, waiting to reveal your True Nature to you.

    Happy Easter,

    Gillian

    1. Hi Gillian,

      It is important to feel what exists. It’s even more important not to get stuck there or to believe that’s all there is. Yep–the light is always available…

      Thanks for adding your voice!
      Laurie

  7. I feel that I do surrender to who I am, however my issue is doubting myself and second guessing myself. I need to feel more comfortable being myself. Comfortable enough to say things not just to please others but to state who I am and what I believe. I tend to shy away from confrontation, just because I don’t feel strong enough to face the confrontation. I need to know that being who I am is good and what I say and feel is true and meaningful to me.

    1. Roy–Each time you doubt, take a breath and surrender once again—to the love you feel and know lives within you. Anything “not true” can fall away in that breath. What remains is who you are.

      Laurie

  8. Self Acceptance has been a huge topic for me lately. I just wrote an article about this very topic. This is such a powerful thing to achieve, as we learn from our childhood and programming to put on a mask of sorts, if you will. Thank you for your wise words!

    1. Thanks for coming by, Deanna! Self-acceptance and self-love bear remembering, again and again and again.

      Laurie

  9. Laurie, embracing my authentic self and allowing her to shine has been a powerful healing journey over the last 25 years. Many of the insights you shared are what I experienced along the way also. I’ve discovered that it’s an ongoing process of loving and accepting ourselves as we continue to step into our full truth. Thanks for opening the conversation

  10. Hi Linda,
    I love the ongoing nature of the process as there is more and more to discover. it’s a journey!

    Thanks for your words–
    Laurie

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