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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Be Yourself

 “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

Be yourself! No, I mean it. Don't be anything else but yourself. Cultures, media, employers, co-workers, friends and families may want you to be something or someone else, but do not falter, don't give in. As Steve Jobs reminds us "Your time is limited, don't waste it living someone else's life."

We are continually bombarded with an entourage of guilt trips, sermons, lectures and reprimands on how we should be something that we may or may not be:

  • Nicer/Meaner
  • Gentler/Tougher
  • Quicker/Slower
  • Spiritual/Down to earth
  • Passionate/Placid
  • Serious/Lighthearted
  • Feminine/Manly 
  • Brave/Fearful
  • Sporadic/Cautious
The list is endless. We don't all face the same circumstances in life, but we all face these personality altering suggestions. 

While it is often others whom are guilty of putting these expectations upon us, the greatest perpetrator of all, more often then not, is our very own-selves.

We have all heard the saying, "I am my own worst enemy.". This concept is the closest thing to truth that I know.  Many opportunities have slipped me by, due to this personal enemy. It seems as though a constant battle is evoked within me. A battle between what seems to be myself and another. One whom would, perhaps, seek to destroy me or at most hinder me. Spies of all parties traverse the landscapes of my heart, mind and soul, adding their influence from without.

I must seek to understand this conflict. I must look back, review and analyze this thing called my life.

And so a brief intro, to a longer analyses, is in order.

I have been conditioned, as I believe we all are to some extent or another, from the day I was born for good and bad, intentionally and unintentionally. One of the most dangerous conditionings that I can recall is a practice that I myself, and I'm sure there are others, derived from the "christian" culture. A culture that I was deeply immersed in, particularly that of Evangelicalism. The condition? The denial of the self. I was taught, trained and moulded to continually deny the self. While I believe that there are very important aspects to the practice of this, I also believe that within this there contains a great and mighty harm. I must, however, give appreciation and grace to the hearts of those whom held such influence over me, as they were doing only that of which they felt was the right of way and what they themselves have been conditioned to do also. To them, I give thanks for their concern, no matter how miss guided it may have been (Please note, unless someone mistake me for the condoning of misled actions, I do not thank them for what they did, but rather, only for whatever pure motives that may have driven them to do so.).

The war has been ongoing for as long as I can remember and I am afraid I have lost memory of it's commencement and reasons for it. [The more I think about it the more I understand why I'm in counselling and the blessing of it.] I don't even know why I am fighting any more and if I am even on the "right" side. 

 One could say that I am a recovering Evangelical, and may always be so.

However, hope remains.

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – 
George Eliot

To be continued...