Your real self, my real self, his real self, her real self. Don’t you wish it were just obvious that we were all working within the freedom of our real selves all the time?
When I was younger I had moments of living in my real self and it felt wonderful. I remember particularly this one sunny day in Granada, Spain during the year I lived there in college. I was walking along the street, I was wearing a blue dress, I don’t recall it being a day when I had classes, and in my mind I was just walking enjoying the sunshine. I remember that moment because, in that moment, I remember saying to myself, “This is it. This is you being exactly who you are meant to be. This is a day to remember when you feel great, you love this place, you’re doing the thing.”
I drove to Kansas City yesterday for a gig and listened to podcasts there and back. “The Art School” with Leah Badertscher is one of my favorites. Yesterday, in episode ten, she said,
I spent lots of time trying to work inside a cage. I still do. I try to please people and make excuses for why I should live in the cage until, like I said in my last post, I freak out and act out and then just blow off steam by not being so cagey. The truth feels so much better.
And it makes me wonder about the people around me. Why is it that we shackle ourselves to stuff we don’t want, jobs we don’t like, routines that don’t let us shine? Why is it that we think our best self, that our real self is somehow not worthy of being revealed? Why do we place a higher value on misery than contentment or a higher value on maintenance versus expansion? It’s like we’re all taking our talents and burying them in the ground in case the end is near.
Jon and I went out to lunch the other day I got the Salad Bar option that included a very nice (still warm) bread pudding for dessert. Afterward, as were driving to Walmart, I got a little teary saying, “Life would be so much easier if I had been created for a nice office job. Life wouldn’t feel so hard if I loved routine and time cards more.”
But would it? I’d just be on the other side of a human experience that’s half wonder and half worry. I’d still be living in the tension of what needs to be done and what I want to get done. That never goes away no matter what gifts and calling you’ve been given. It’s always going to be half winning and half working on the win. We can let a little light in by inviting our real selves to the table and giving them a say as to how this song goes. Hey, how DOES this song go?
You know what the world needs? The world needs your real self to stand up and do what she was designed to do. The world needs you energized and at peace. It doesn’t need another martyr working on leveling up on their suffering badge just to prove how much bullshit they can handle.
The truth tastes like freedom. This world could use more of that. This world could use more of you. Go on and give it to them. Love, Hope