Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
You can’t always be yourself.
You can’t always allow the unknown to express itself through you.
You can’t always trust in the moment to guide you.
No, you can’t always be yourself. (Can you?)
There will be times when you feel the need to hold back. To not say what you feel. To be aware of another’s feelings.
Times when you have to be ‘professional’ first, and human second. Parental, boundaried. Political with the truth.
Times when the thoughts in your head should not be shared with another, e.g. a lover.
Times when discretion is the better part of valour.
There will be times when your honesty doesn’t get you what you want.
What value being yourself now, then?
Well, simply put, the problem isn’t with being yourself but with what you understand of being yourself. Just as the problem is never love, but with your expectations of love. And the problem is never with words, but with the meaning you give to them.
So let’s think of being yourself differently, for a moment, give it a new set of clothes.
Let’s make being yourself mean being present. Let’s make it mean being love. Let’s make it mean to deeply listen.
Now let’s think of a situation, any situation, where being present, being love, and deeply listening wouldn’t be welcomed.
Professional. Maybe you’re a doctor. Maybe your patient has mental health issues. Maybe they’re emotionally unstable, and wont to respond wildly to their addictive thinking. Can you be yourself now? How will your full presence help here? How about your love? And your listening? What use will being yourself have for this vulnerable soul?
Maybe you’re not a doctor, but a busy boss. Or a worried worker. Or the President of the United States. What use, now, of love and listening, of being present to the moment?
How can being yourself help here?
Parents. What your children want most of all from you is to feel your love. Is to feel your presence. Is to be deeply listened to by you. Your attention. Your appreciation. Your engagement. You, being yourself.
Of course watching the TV they want, having the latest iPhone, and you doing what they want when they want seems a close second best to them. But this is merely the cost of you not being there for them.
Partners. Whether you’re dealing with the masculine or the feminine, you’re always dealing with the human. What your partner wants most of all is to feel you – feel your presence, your desires, the essence of you. And there’s another, succinct way of describing all these qualities, don’t you know…
It doesn’t matter what situation you’re in. And culture doesn’t matter. Nor gender, values, or belief system. Nor age or race. Because the only thing that matters is whether you’re dealing with another human being or not.
And if you are relating with another human being, then love and listening and presence will always be useful. Yes, being yourself will always enable rapport, always deepen the connection, always make space for a new way of thinking and seeing.
Don’t you find?
The trouble with you is that you’re too busy thinking what to do next that you can’t hear the answer to that question.
The trouble with you is you don’t see the strength and the wisdom and the wellness in the person you’re interacting with.
The trouble with you is you’re too frightened to be naked with yourself, to be in the moment.
Sometimes, you’re a bloody miraculous marvel. Sometimes, you being yourself comes so effortlessly. Sometimes all the books in the world couldn’t do you justice.
So, yes, there will be times when you feel the need to hold back. To not say what you feel. To be aware of another’s feelings.
Yes, there will. But there will never be a time when your love, and your listening from a place of deep presence, will not be welcomed.
It is always the right thing to do to be yourself.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to learn how. How to be yourself. To see and feel what little there actually is to do when you are being yourself.
And what the world needs now, especially your world, is for you to do just that.
You can always be yourself. If you but listen, and love. The question is: will you?
Agree with what I’ve shared here? Disagree? Still got questions? Then please leave a comment. ????