Be me…the joys of being myself

Yesterday was that rare day where the sun shone bright in my world, all was well with me. No, the day did not involve a windfall of cash (which would have been nice though) nor did it involve any mind blowing sex (that too would have been nice), hell it didn’t even involve a day without work. What it did involve though was a concerted effort to live in my truth, to be me and to shut out the voices that often come from a myriad of places telling me I should be more or do more.

A few nights ago while reading Byron Katie’s Loving What Is, I had a light bulb moment when in actually doing Byron’s inquiry process, it hit me that so many times my inner strife is due to the mental tug of war I put myself through. So many times I beat myself up because I don’t earn enough, I don’t spend as much time playing with my kid as I think I should, and the list of what shoulds go on. The thing is all that stuff does nothing but to make me feel bad and as someone predisposed towards anxiety attacks, I end up doing a lot of work avoiding the attacks.

So I started my week off saying screw it! Instead of forcing myself to be who I am not, how about an experiment where the focus is on being who I really am? It’s still early in the process but let me say I am loving it! When the focus was not on forced play with my child, I found myself creating opportunities to connect without the pressure; the result was bonding time while painting a dresser for the girl’s room. I admit the dresser didn’t come out nearly as well as I had hoped but we had fun and the kid’s room is better organized. That task had been on my to-do list all summer but only when I took the pressure off myself did it happen. I went to a morning yoga class and took some chances on the mat that I had been previously unwilling to and even surprised myself. My yoga teacher often tells me many times we work life out on the mat…she might be right.

It hit me last night when I sat down to unwind and hopped online that when I am busy living my truth, the truth of others means less to me. I am less likely to compare myself to my friends who eat better than I am, I eat what my body needs and it’s fine. Suddenly I can take real joy in my work and greet the kids and families I serve with the authentic me when I live in the knowledge that in my corner of the world what I do matters…I can trust that the universe will provide for me.

As a heavy user of social media, I think at times it’s easy to get caught up in the comparison game. I hate to admit there are many times when I have read another person’s blog, looked at a friend’s photos and felt like a failure. I suspect I am not the only one this happens to and frankly as much as I love social media, I am learning there are times you need to turn it off. A while back I was discussing a local blogger and it turned out since Maine is so small, that two buddies of mine actually know the blogger. So I asked them both, is she really who she appears to be on her blog? Both said yes and one who has known her for many years shared that the blogger has always been working towards the life she has, that even without social media Amanda would be living this life. I admit that tidbit stayed with me and as I look at my own life now, I get it…when we live our truth, we present our authentic selves and that’s when it all comes together. Striving for anything less than being myself is a waste of time.

PS: If you are in Maine and near the Portland area, I will be speaking next week Sept 22 as part of the She Changes Speaking Series. It will be a great night of women speaking their truths! Check it out!

3 thoughts on “Be me…the joys of being myself

  1. Shay, I am learning this myself. You have to be who you are. Back in my evangelical days, I spent so many YEARS praying for God to make me into something else. And, then, one day I remember thinking, “Maybe, if I haven’t changed after all this prayer, this is who I am supposed to be.” And, I woke up one day, and decided I was going to slowly embrace who I was and am. This means we have to be thankful for what we have right now. This is last part is so hard for me…being thankful for what I have and who I am right now. I am not quite there yet, but I’m working my way toward it, day by day.

    On a funny note, I was in a bible study with a catty chic who once asked me, “And what do YOU do?”–as in, what types of hobbies do I do to validate who I am socially (Not incidentally, this is one of the most selfish, self-centered people I know. I have since removed this woman from my life, by the way.) Everyone in the group either knitted or cooked or did some hobby for which they had something to “show”. And I just remember thinking, “I am myself.” I don’t need to do anything or do anything to be validate. Yeah, I was at a low point in my life, and I had stopped doing things. But, even with all the things that I do now, I am still myself and I do these things for myself. Perhaps these

    Something that has helped me gain greater self-acceptance is removing myself completely from circles or people who impede my self-acceptance. And, when something isn’t as I like it, I get up and change it.

    It’s funny because, since I’ve done this, people have told me how I seem really happy and like I’m in a good place.

    Day by day, my friend.

  2. I really love this post. It totally resonates with me. I hope to apply this concept of living true to myself as well versus always being consumed with comparing myself to others. It’s easier to do when you feel that you meet various standards of success harder when you feel like you’ve failed (or as Shay mentioned are at a low point in life).

    I think I need to start with analyzing what I really want out of life. I can honestly say that living where I live (a large congested city) may not be as conducive to being authentic to myself as I’d like. I guess time will tell.

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