Newsflash: we are all liars. We do it all the time; effortlessly. In fact, most of us have become so accustomed to it, so comfortable with the lies, that we don’t even have to think about it. It just happens; without so much as a second thought. It’s universal. We all have that one person. It’s almost scientific. There is one person in everyone’s life that we are more likely and more willing to lie to than anyone else we know. You know who I’m talking about, right? I bet you could even look them in the eye, right now. Just look in the mirror.
Stephen King and Eric Hoffer agree. We lie the best, and the loudest, when we lie to ourselves. We all lie to ourselves. We tell ourselves more lies than we ever dream of telling other people; more than we could ever imagine that other people might tell us. More than anything we value someone who will looks in the eyes and tell us the truth, and yet we stare at ourselves in the mirror and lie to ourselves on a daily basis. And it makes us miserable.
Mahatma Ghandi is quoted, “To believe in something, and not live it, is dishonest.” And it couldn’t have been said better. Everyone knows that acting against what you believe is dishonest. Even before we learn what dishonesty is, even before we are old enough to comprehend the concept of untruth, we instinctively know. We feel it.
It makes us sick on the inside, somewhere deep. It goes beyond our stomachs and tugs at our very soul, as if the truth of it could tear the puppet strings away from our minds. And yet out of fear we so often choose to continue being mariontetted into jobs, relationships, practices, personas, and fads… supposed tos need tos, have tos, shoulds, and expectations… objectification, deprivation, subjugation and abdication. We barter our voices for peace, our beliefs for security, our self-image for acceptance. Our fear of rejection is so paralyzing that we readily embrace the forfeiture of ourselves. All the religions and spiritual teachings point to the same dysfunction in our thinking and point the way towards freedom.
The egoic state – that defense by deference, which is innate in all of us – is spiritually unconscious and the different behaviours we manifest in this state lead to suffering for ourselves, other humans, other creatures on earth and the earth itself. By accepting this false pretense of safety in place our authenticity all we gain is anxiety, depression, resentment, and regret; a cycle of repetitive suffering. But even this suffering seems to be part of a divine plan as the suffering itself will make us question our thoughts and behaviours and look for ways to become free.
Which is to say the dissonance we feel in that deep place of our soul is meant to spur us toward freedom. To ignore it is spiritual suicide. The single greatest tragedy in life, the worst act of self-mutilation you can commit, is to relinquish your sense of self and accept the version of you that is expected by everyone else. It doesn’t make us feel safe. It makes us feel stressed. It makes us sick, literally, and it deprives the universe of your necessary uniqueness.
YOU. ARE. NECESSARY.
Seriously. Your uniqueness is scientifically vital to this world. Think about it. Every ecosystem requires a certain level of biodiversity to thrive. With too much homogeny, the system will collapse and implode. Just like each species has a particular function with in their ecosystem, each and every person – including you – has a unique purpose, a unique role, that no one else on this planet can fulfill. A zebra can’t be a tiger, just like I can’t be you. We can only be ourselves. Everyone else is already taken. When you try to be anything else, anyone else – whether it be what you think you should be, what someone else expects, or simply something you envy – you create unnecessary strife, because you then have to compete with that other someone and also contend with the feelings of betrayal, distortion, and disconnection that arise from denying your Self.
When you embody your authentic self, there is no competition. There is only freedom. But it isn’t a freedom that comes easily. You must yearn for it, and be willing to claw tooth and nail for it. Don Mateo Sol writes, “To become authentic we require a thirst for freedom, freedom from psychological traumas, from self-pity, from self-preserving fearful ideas, from primitive instinctual behaviour, and from dogmatic ideals that have been taught to us throughout our entire lives.” Gaining that kind of freedom is indescribably liberating, but it is not easy. It requires us to fight against the our very inborn nature. Because unlike reflexes and instincts, authenticity is not something we simply have or don’t have. It is a conscious collection of choices about how we want to live our lives. A choice we have to make each and every single day to allow our true selves to be seen; a daily practice of unleashing, allowing, and embracing ourselves.
E.E. Cummings wrote, “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best to make you everybody but yourself means to fight the hardest battle which any human can fight and never stop fighting.” That’s a scary thought… to think that you will fight for your life every day for the rest of your life. But honestly, life is a fight either way. You can fight to be true to yourself, or you can fight to fit your square into a circle. You can fight to be free, or you can fight to forge the very chains that will bind you to your suffering. Either way you fight.
But when you choose to fight for yourself, divine is revealed in your authenticity. 1 Timothy 6:12 instructs followers of Christianity to, “Fight the good fight in faith. Seize the life to which you are called.” Buddha said, “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path,” and “You can search throughout this entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and acceptance than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love and acceptance.” And Wicacn followers are instructed to, “Abide the law in perfect love and trust. But if it harms none, do what you will.”
Max Ehrman wrote in his Desiderata, “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.” Whether you believe in God, Goddess, Yahweh, Yeshua, Allah, Parvardigar, Brahma, Vishnu, Shakti, Source, Spirit, Universal Divine, Consciousness, Energy, Our Essential Nature, Reality, Science, or something else entirely, whether your beliefs are as new as Wicca or predate the Abrahamic faiths, as serious as the Orthodoxy or as irreverent as Pastafarianism, spiritual and rational movements alike agree. Authentic living is mandated by the divine order of the universe. It is our divine right to live authentically and speak our truth. By moving out of your own way and allowing your truth to come into being, you allow others to glimpse something sacred.
In A Return to Love Marrianne Williamson wrote, “You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
What is secret have you always carried inside you? What truth do keep within? How can you liberate yourself and others? How will you serve the world? Stop lying. Start living.
Do you let the opinions of others determine who you are and how you live? Are you tired of living someone else’s dream or walking someone else’s path? That’s because you need to embrace who you authentically are and start being that person, living that life. Rather than judging your actions, your life, yourself. Focus instead on how they make you feel. Embrace the things that make you feel liberated and allow you to feel accomplished. Live from that place as often as you can. Actively be all of who you truly are, even if others think you should be something different. The more you live the authentic YOU, the more your dreams and desires will become your reality!
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