Be Yourself. Huh?

How many times have you heard someone say Just Be Yourself?  It’s sage advice for sure, but for most of my life it has been meaningless.  To be yourself, you have to know yourself.  I’ve been described as mercurial (read: inconsistent) on more than one occasion, and most of my jobs have had nothing to do with my graduate degree.  Floating along, I’ve accepted what has come to me, not really knowing what I wanted to go after.

Goals?  Umm, no.  When I left my most recent job, I spent time thinking about who I was, what I wanted, what was important to me.  The initial results (and may I say that even after four years they are still not even close to conclusive) were miles from the person who I thought I was.  The person I’d been for decades was based on who I thought I should be.  Internally, that left me confused and conflicted.  I didn’t know what to wear.  Who am I going to be today?

It has taken years for me to peel back some crusty layers and fertilize the tender sprouts of my soul that were begging for sunlight and air.  Reconciling what I found with the person who I had been showing to the world for decades was the toughest part.  I still struggle with revealing what I consider my innermost self-ness (yes, it’s a word, today anyway), especially to those closest to me.

It seems that others go through life with less struggle, like they were born just being themselves fully in the world.  For me, it’s been a NASA-worthy exploration, one that has it’s own atmosphere and timeline.  And I’m loving every minute of it.  Except when I don’t.  When I feel like I should be way further along… along where, what?  I still don’t have any goals.  Well, I do, but they change just about weekly, sometimes daily.

The difference is that I now appreciate the journey.  I’m a perpetual student – of life, myself, the mysteries, the divinity, the wonder and the breathtaking beauty.   I continue to move forward (upward? outward?) by prioritizing learning and honoring my curiosity.  As I observe, I grow.  When I dig down, I pop up.  In being, I’m becoming.  Myself.

Heart Scab

How many people are walking around with a crusty old scab encasing their heart? It’s so hard at this point, blood doesn’t flow in or out. Nor does love.We fall in love and get critically hurt, ER hurt. So we decide too much love is bad. It makes us crazy and stupid. We won’t fall for that again. But we want company, warmth. So we decide to have a practical love, one we can control. That will keep us safe and sound.

Who would we be if we didn’t have those first insane, soul-spinning loves? Would we have remained innocent and willing to dive deeply into love? Maybe we’d just be less interesting, less seasoned.

Those first hurts serve a purpose: they let us know who we are and who we are not, and who we want and who we do not. Because of those times, we become wise and choose better lovers. Ones who truly get us and don’t want to make us crazy. And in the one who is meant for us, we find a new level of passion, soulfulness and life itself.

Love doesn’t have to be crazy to be deeply real. It does have to come from our whole heart though, fully open and soft. If we let someone gently remove our scab, there’s no need to worry, it won’t leave a scar.