We’re born complete. We’re born real.
We start out life as these individual sparks. Both perfect and flawed.
Wonderful and remarkable, yet quirky and somehow not-quite-formed to those who love us.
This is where it begins…
Even in the womb we’re absorbing information. Feeling and sensing who we might be. Then we come out into the world and we begin taking stock, tallying the facts as we see them and adjusting our responses.
Managing our image.
Who we start to become is still us, it’s just that, well, we can’t help but be partly molded and shaped by what we experience, who we spend time with each day and what they think and feel.
And don’t get me wrong, none of this is a mistake, none of it’s wrong or anything other than what our soul ordered from the cosmos when we deigned to alight on this here planet of ours.
It’s just that sometimes we end up forgetting lots about who we really are.
We grow up and blindly become a version of our parents or we follow a set of beliefs gained from family, church, school or culture that sort of feels correct but scrape the surface just a smidge and it can suddenly all feel like someone else’s ill-fitting suit.
You know what I mean? We reach maybe 26, and wake up one day in a career, relationship, town, crime gang, religious cult or all of the above and think, “How did I get here?”.
We get the urge to wriggle free and escape.
But oh the temptation to remain safe and approved of. It’s mighty powerful.
Why rock the raft or bite the hand?
It might feel scary and cause some consternation among those who wish we would stay the same (cos then they can stay safe too), but believe me, the open road beats the prison cell any day.
Let’s get down to tin tacks.
Here are five ways you can find out if you’re being real in your life:
- If you feel completely at ease and good about yourself when you spend time with your closest friends and you don’t need to dress a certain way or talk a certain way in order to fit in – good job, you’re keeping things real.
- If you have a job where your work mates see the same ‘you’ as your friends and family do then, you’re probably being pretty authentic.
- If you can look into your wardrobe and see plenty of clothes you feel good in and enjoy wearing, then you’re choosing clothing for the right reasons, i.e. you like them and buy for yourself rather than to please anyone else – that’s you being real.
- If you feel things are pretty fair and even in your relationship when it comes to choosing things together such as meals to cook, grocery or household items to buy, movies or television to watch, outings or holidays to enjoy – then you’re clearly expressing your preferences openly and that’s a good thing.
- If you’re comfortable to say no to requests or invitations from friends and family sometimes because what they’re wanting you to do doesn’t feel right or doesn’t fit in with your desires or plans AND you feel totally relaxed and comfortable with doing this, then right on! You are really rocking this realness gig.
Tick yes to three of the above five scenarios and I would say you’re doing pretty darn good with being true to who you are. Less than three and I’d recommend you rethink some of your automatic choices.
It’s all about how we feel: That surge of anxiety when mum drops in for a cuppa, “Shit, is the floor clean enough?”
That sinking feeling you get when a certain couple invite you to a party and you recall not liking any of their friends….
You get the gist.
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