Why you owe to yourself to find your true self and what it implies

Being yourself is a complex but very crucial aspect of personal development. The discovery and then development of who you truly are can take a significant amount of time and shake up all your relationships. You may even have to stop doing whatever you’re doing to earn your living and start a completely new career.

Your true self, that inner voice that lives in you ever since the beginning of your earthly life, is very well hidden by the teachings of your parents and school and the influence of romantic partners and friends.

You want to please your parents and partner by obeying their wishes of who you should be. You want to be a good student and work hard even for subjects for which you don’t feel any inner motivation. You want to be appreciated by friends and you change your behaviour and attitude appropriately.

The emotional need to be loved and the social need to be accepted and appreciated silence the inner voice of being who you truly are – the human being who came into this life to live in authenticity, integrity, morality and freedom of expression.

If you are lucky, it comes a moment when you are awakened and you feel how the inner voice is vibrating in your body and talking to your soul. It can be that you are awakened after a moment when you face death or after a painful break-up. Then, you feel the need to escape from the roles that you’ve played so far and to start living according to how your inner voice guides you.

This inner voice is your connection to God, to the Higher Intelligence, and if you are wise to listen to it, it will bring you to the home of Divinity with every experience you start living as being your true self.

The first steps towards being yourself require courage. You’ll have to manage the confusion and disappointment of the loved ones who will start witnessing a new behaviour. Their expectations on you are no longer fulfilled. They’ll have to learn to accept your true nature and this may be extremely difficult for them.

You’ll also need tact and patience with your loved ones until they learn to appreciate the real you and your way of showing how you love them.

You’ll need strength when some friends stop contacting you because they see in you a different person, around whom they may not want to be. Actually, it does not matter why they don’t need your company anymore. The important and valuable aspect is that whatever you do as your true self is in alignment with your divine being.

Your thoughts and emotions purify and they’ll result in beneficial actions as well. In time, you’ll be surprised how much happier you’ll be with your relationships and professional life.

Becoming your true self does not happen overnight but if you stay faithful to the inner voice, you’ll eventually manage to break free from old and toxic habits, such as the need to be praised for doing things in which you don’t genuinely believe. You’ll laugh with all your heart and you’ll feel truly alive and in communion with God!

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How can a family relationship continue after a big disappointment?

Our relatives can sometimes disappoint us. However, looking deeper into the disappointment can bring you closer to truth and may be a stepping stone to a more authentic relationships.

 

The first stage of disappointment

We are tempted to believe that others are the way we perceive them.

This can happen especially among the family; a strong bond with a family member can make you blind to see the true nature of the other one.

The numerous memories might give you the feeling you truly know the person. But the memories are essentially static while the person is continuously changing.

In my opinion, if you assume you know how the other one will behave, you are setting yourself up for a disillusionment. It will come a time when you are taken aback by a broken promise, a lie, or an unexpected behaviour – something that does not fit your image on him.

In your reality, he is pure and courageous. How could he possibly do so such a thing to you? Disappointment settles in, erodes the trust in the other person, and it leaves you confused about what kind of bond you’re having.

“The principles of living greatly include the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness and trial with humility.” Thomas S. Monson

Daily conversations of shared intimacy, which used to be something to look forward to, turn into superficial dialogues. The mind becomes suspicious and doubts even what can be the truth.

If this relationship was only friendship, maybe it would have been easier to let it go. But when a blood tie is involved, things are different. All those vivid memories of the past when you two were there for each other, when life seemed to have more sense when you were together, can’t be simply deleted.

Yet, the bitterness of the present disappointment taints those memories.

What does the disappointment tell about the other one and the bond you’re having?

“If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.” Henry David Thoreau

After living with disappointment in your heart for some time, you may be enlightened to see that there is another truth about the other one, you and consequently the relationship. Questioning the motives for which he disappointed you helps to see a bigger slice of the truth than before.

If before you felt you were very connected, it’s time to reconsider the space you are ready to give in the relationship. You need space to heal after the disappointment. The other one needs space to sort out whatever is going on with him.

Whether you want to have an open confrontation before taking the space, that’s entirely up to you and how you feel about talking about a sensitive topic when the wound is still open.

But, silently taking some space can help to ponder in peace over your feelings towards the other one and how can the relationship continue.

The foundations of the relationship have been shaken up, it needs new grounds to be rebuilt on. The other one may not be perfect, but hey, you are not perfect either. You may not make the same mistakes as he did, but most likely you can make other mistakes.

There are two important aspects in rebuilding the foundations of the bond. The first is the willingness to give another chance to the other one to be trusted. The second aspect is the patience to endure the suspicions until the trust is back.

The bright side is that when your perception on the other one is closer to the truth, your relationship is ready to move to another level with more authenticity involved.

 

A tiny bit of nostalgia can’t be that bad

We wouldn’t be human beings if we didn’t feel nostalgic once in a while. We easily miss the present by getting lost in the memories of the good old times. Undoubtedly, we need to learn how to stay present to our daily experiences in order to discover the authenticity and depth of the surrounding reality. I wonder though if a tad of nostalgia can help us be more prepared to live the present?

Mindfulness

I believe in the healing effects of mindfulness. By learning how to stay focused on the task at hand, we can become more aware of our emotions and improve our wellbeing.

One mindfulness technique is to focus on the breathing in our body whenever we feel we lose touch with what’s going on at the moment.

For example, whenever I realise I am too much into my thoughts and don’t cherish the presence of my toddler, I take a deep breath, I leave aside any other task I  might be doing and delve into playing with him.

His laughter is melting my heart. I feel blessed for sharing that moment with him.

Yet, there are moments when nostalgia kicks in and I let it be.

Nostalgia is human

I want to feel the “don’t forget the loved ones” type of nostalgia.

It’s my way of keeping in the heart the people whom I dearly loved once but who passed away. I indulge myself in the past where I can still see their faces and hear their voices.

It was a sunny day, one of the first days of late Spring, as it usually is in Helsinki. I was with my toddler at the playground and I started a game of the mind. I imagined how they would play with him.

My grandfather would have played hide and seek with him.

My uncle would have cracked some jokes and did a few hocus-pocus tricks.

My grandmother would have just waited for us with some pancakes when we returned from the playground.

Sometimes, the past and present are one

Where were we? Ah, on the playground, my son is playing in the sand.

The sun is shining, the wind is blowing, compensating with some cold, for the warmth of the sun rays.

Without the past, we wouldn’t have the present. Thanks to the people who loved us once, we have a frame of reference for loving in the present.

Nostalgia awareness

I believe that it does good to us to invite the past in the present every now and then. In my case, nostalgia comes with a precious reminder that love is the only thing which is eternal. I received it in abundance, now it’s my time to pass it on.

It does good to us to travel back in time as long as we are able to maintain a faithful memory about the past. If we are truthful to the past, we can tell better how we turned into who we are today. And we’ll feel more comfortable about who we are today.

We were not perfect back then. We are not perfect now. But we can try to become the best that we can be.

 

How about you? Do you get nostalgic often? How faithful recollection of the past do you believe you have?

 

Your Life, With or Without Soul Mate

Some of us have a romantic nature. One day you happen to read a book on soul mates that touches you deeply and vibrates in your being. You loved before. Yet, you know that there is a part of your heart which hasn’t been touched yet. You start daydreaming about your soul mate. You want to meet him today and to recognise him from the first glimpse.

The Wikipedia definition of a soul mate is a person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity, similarity, love, sex, intimacy, sexuality, spirituality or compatibility. I’ll adhere to this definition, which I consider broad enough for everybody’s understanding of a soul mate.

In search of understanding, I became overwhelmed with diverging opinions and the amount of pages that were written on this topic. Searching for “soul mate” in Amazon resulted in 13285 paperback books, 1309 hardcover, 380 Kindle edition and 7 Audio Audible edition. The earliest texts on soul mate are by Greek philosophers, poets, and writers. I prefer these earliest texts to the more recent ones, which offer guidelines on how to meet your soul mate.

Some individuals believe that a soul mate is a person of opposite sex with whom one is meant to have a lifelong romantic relationship. “The whole of man’s life on the face of Earth can be summed up by that search of his Soul Mate. He may pretend to be running after wisdom, money, or power, but none of that matter. Whatever he achieves will be incomplete, if he fails to find his Soul Mate. ” writes Paulo Coelho, in his novel Brida.

Others believe that soul mates are two persons who want their marriage to be a fulfilled one. (http://marriage.about.com/cs/soulmates/a/soulmates.htm)

“But to live with a soul mate forever?”, Elizabeth Gilbert writes in her novel Eat, Pray, Love. “Nah. Too painful. Soul mates come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.”

And there are others who believe that a soul mate is a person of the same or opposite sex with whom one has shared other lifetimes.  In the current life, the soul mate can be your sibling, your parent, your child, or, even your business partner! (http://marriage.about.com/cs/soulmates/a/soulmates.htm)

I concluded that most likely, each person who believes in soul mates has her own understanding on what a soul mate is. I started wondering though, “What benefits does this belief bring to your life?”

“Silly me!”, I thought to myself in the next second. Sometimes loneliness may be too harsh to handle. Dreaming about the soul mate brings colour to your inner world and gives the strength to go through loneliness. If you happen to be in a relationship, in which you are not too happy, there is the disadvantage to dream too much and not be willing to make any effort to improve the relationship. But everyone is free to live the way they want or the way they can. And if you want to live with the fantasy of your soul mate, then that’s what you’ll do.

There is a different kettle of fish if the belief in soul mates comes from your true self, and it is not yet another belief that you think it’s nice to have. If you truly feel that there is a soul out there that you are meant to meet, then rest assured that it will happen. And it won’t happen sooner if you are too anxious about it.

“A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet”. Elisabeth Gilbert writes in Eat, Pray, Love. “A soul mate’s purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and your addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life …”

In my view, the search for soul mate is a part of the spiritual journey that some of us are meant to take. It is fuelled by the need to find authenticity in yourself. You feel it in your guts that there is one person in whose company you’ll feel authentic, and that person is your soul mate.

Meeting your soul mate is a milestone in your life. You may start looking upon your own life as before and after meeting him. When the new light gets into your heart, as Elizabeth Gilbert describes, a new world is revealed to you, a world of pure joy, kindness and peacefulness. You’ll feel that an angel has touched you, except that it’s not an angel but the positive energy of your soul mate.

If it is meant to say good bye, you’ll experience sufferance in the very essential part of your being – in the part that your soul mate helped you discover. Nothing makes sense any longer. Living with the pain and longing after your soul mate, you don’t even realise when you’ve moved to another stage of your spiritual journey.

Then again, maybe it is meant that you’ll wake up next to him for the rest of your life. Still, don’t fool yourself that your life will be an eternal bliss. You’ll have your share of disillusionments. Not even your soul mate will be able to fulfil ALL your needs. For example, there may be times when he’ll surprise you with selfishness or lack of support. Time changes the relationship between soul mates, and there will be moments when you’ll fight with yourself to keep the love pure.

I believe that there can be spiritual journeys that don’t include the phase, “I met my soul mate”. There are other paths that take you to enlightenment and to a life thriving in love and authenticity, as it is suggested in the article “Four Signs That Healthy Love Is On Its Way“.

Whether your soul mate is a fantasy, the most precious memory in your heart or your companion in life, the most important is to embrace life as it unfolds in front of you. Do the best with the life circumstances that you are meant to live. Bathe your soul in kindness, compassion and joy. Be truthful to yourself and the people who surround you! And reassess your beliefs as you grow older and wiser. :)