We come into life as perfect beings. Perfectly suited and made for what we need to experience in this lifetime. We are authentic unto our own.
Unfortunately the first people we begin to interact with, our parents or primary caregivers, are often unable to see us for who we really are.
This is no fault of their own. They don’t see our true selves because they can’t see their true self. They don’t understand who we are in our uniqueness because they don’t understand who they are.
As children we learn very quickly that if we want to fit into our family and continue to receive love from our parents, we must conform to who they want us to be.
In some cases it might be a child who is seen and not heard.
Or a child who is athletic and victorious.
A child who never speaks their mind and only nods in agreement with what elders are saying.
A child who is skinny and pretty capturing the attention of other people because of their beauty.
Or a child who is smarter then everyone else.
As children we begin to wear like clothing the beliefs, emotions, patterns and behaviors which please our parents so that we can fit in, be accepted and loved.
After years of pretending to be who we are not so that we can be loved and fit in, we think we are who we really aren’t. We have lost our authentic selves.
Then things get uncomfortable. We become uncomfortable in our own skin. If you think of our skin as clothing made of beliefs, thoughts and ideas, it is because the clothes we are wearing are not our own. We have borrowed them from another and they don’t fit.
But we find ourselves attached to what we are wearing. We enjoy the benefits of wearing someone’s else’s clothes. They like us. They invite us to gatherings. We are accepted. We are loved. As a result no matter how uncomfortable we become in our borrowed clothes, in our inauthenticity, we refuse to give them up.
Some people live their whole life this way.
Others wake up at some point and say to themselves, “Well this is dumb. This is not who I am. I’ve only been pretending that I like to play sports. That I am interested in politics. That not voicing my opinion is the better choice.”
And then the change begins as we shed those borrowed clothes and the beliefs, patterns and behaviors attached to them. The process is uncomfortable even frightening at times. Often as a result, we lose people that we care about because they can’t handle the new us.
Committed to the path of change, eventually we emerge fully into ourselves. Our authentic selves just as we were when we arrived into this world oh so many years ago.
If only we had not forgotten as babes that being who we are is most important.