There are so many quotes I love about living an authentic life.
“You do you.” (My son laid that one on me a little while ago. It was intense. Wisdom comes at all ages.)
“Be the best you that you can be.”
Liza Minnelli said:
“I would rather present a first-rate version of myself than a second-rate version of Mama.”
Quote above the Temple of Apollo at Delphi”
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.”
*My comment on this is: if you realize you ARE enough, you are truly rich.
And here is one from a more modern day philosopher:
“If you don’t know yourself, you don’t know your nature. If you don’t know your nature, you don’t know where to exist. By knowing your nature, knowing yourself, you know what to be and how to live. And that only comes from knowledge of self, knowing yourself.”
AND to quote The Who:
“ Who are you? Who the fuck are you?”
How long does it take to know yourself?
Which would you choose?
What DOES it take to know ourselves?
Do we really want to know?
I can only answer that question for myself.
We don’t have unlimited time to “figure that out.” Do we really need to figure it out?
If we are living an authentic, genuine life with integrity, don’t you think the answers on who you are at your core will appear?
What it has taken for me and what it may take for you may be VERY different.
We invent ourselves depending on our circumstances and the road we are traveling.
We also reinvent ourselves when we see that “persona” isn’t getting as much attention as it once did; or none at all.
We morph ourselves into what we THINK or believe is needed for our job, our relationships, and our social media.
What if everyone was BRAVE enough to drop the pretense, drop what you THINK others want and just be ourselves?
First, do we have any idea who we are?
What really makes us tick?
What are our strengths, and our weaknesses?
Are we willing to even admit that we have weaknesses, idiosyncrasies, foibles, flaws (both internally and externally), shortcomings and imperfections?
We are very happy to reveal the FANTASTIC things about ourselves and our lives, but what about the not-so-great things?
In your life and your chosen profession, career, or art there will ALWAYS be someone who is better looking, more accomplished and more talented than you.
AND there will ALWAYS be someone who is not as good looking, less accomplished, and less talented than you.
That’s just life.
We have put ourselves under so much pressure, to look a certain way, feel a certain way, to make sure we present ourselves in a certain light to others, AND not to age.
Ok, if you TRULY aren’t a nice or good person, and you are WILLING to admit that, then there is some work that has to be done BEFORE you can be on the way to self-discovery.
It is a part of self-discovery to admit you are a flawed or a difficult person, BUT the real you and the good you IS in there. It may be covered up in pain, hurt, anger and feeling devalued.
PLUS, the concept that anyone can be calm, cool and collected all the time isn’t reality.
I have seen the most self-actualized, present, and focused person lose it.
We have emotions.
Many of us have A LOT of emotions.
Some of us have ALL of the emotions!!
There is nothing wrong with emotions. It’s when those emotions control you, and deter you from living a more healthy life that we need to examine them.
Is happy all the time possible?
Is it even healthy?
I don’t believe it is.
Insisting on happy all the time denies the ups and downs of life. It isn’t sustainable.
We ALL have ups and downs. ALL of us.
Look at all of our great leaders, especially the non-violent leaders.
You still see pain, frustration, and anger.
However, it’s how they managed it and what they knew about themselves.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, (and still today The Dalai Lama) they all had really, REALLY horrific days working for justice and equality.
They suffered and they knew they were suffering.
They didn’t wallow in it. They took action over themselves and that stood as examples for others.
We allow our external world to dictate how happy, talented, intelligent, attractive, fit or valuable we are.
As for me, I have to call bullshit on that. On myself.
Are you ready to embrace who you really are?
Are you ready for the ride of your life?
Are you ready to admit your flaws, foibles and indiosyncracies?
Are you ready to tell yourself how much you love yourself;
to accept your talents and expand them?
Let go of self-sabotage and self-flagellation.
Look in the mirror and do the Ho’onoponono Hawaiian forgiveness prayer to yourself.
“I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you.”
You ARE WORTH IT!
Thanks as always for reading.
Feel free to leave a comment. You never know when something you contribute might help someone else.
See you again soon.
I am passionate about PRO-AGING. Aging as well as possible - given our life circumstances - with enthusiasm, contentment, vitality and energy.