Yesterday I started a five-part series on some life realizations that I’ve had recently. If you want to start at the beginning click here: Day 1 (click)
Be True To Myself
This one can be a bit tricky. Some of us spend our entire lifetimes trying to figure out just who we are while others are so hyper-aware they get traction at a young age and just soar. How can I be true to myself if I don’t know who “myself” really is?
I did know at one time…
Fortunately (or maybe not so much sometimes) I can remember vividly most everything from my life starting from when I was in a high chair and unable to talk yet. Mom was making me fish sticks for lunch and she asked if I was still hungry, I couldn’t answer her but I knew that if I just burped I would be hungry, and I remember then shaking my head yes. I even remember the weather that day, and the housedress she was wearing.
Since I can remember those early periods of my life so clearly, I know who I was back then and I remember who I was becoming. I also clearly remember a series of unfortunate events perpetrated by those that I should have been able to trust, that changed the course of my life. Those people literally changed who I was going to become as a man. So I have lived with this discordant inner voice that knows who I should have become, but with an overlay of the man I actually became and to say the least it’s been a challenge to reconcile in my heart.
I remember when I was in my late 30s (or so) Oprah saying that turning 50 years old was the best thing and thinking “no one wants to be that old”. Now I’m 51 and I can say without a doubt that my 50s so far have been the best – mainly because I have been able to slough off some of the man that others caused to me to be, and have been able to catch a glimpse once again of the man that the 5 year-old me should have become.
Twenty years ago this fall I made a commitment to the finest man I had ever met – and I’ve spent all those years hiding him from the world. Why? Because the man they told me to become is ashamed of the love that he feels, and afraid of the consequences of being true to himself. Now we’ve been together for 20 very happy years. The man that I should have become would have been living his truest self this entire time and not fear what strangers (or his family) may think.
This is the second facet of existence: be true to myself.
In order to be true to myself, I had to first figure our who “myself” is: what is important to me; what do I value; what are my priorities; what enriches my life; etc.
Over the last three or four years I have been on a quest to find that five year-old me, pick his brain, remember what he loved and valued, and feed that child so that he could grow and fill my heart so full that this other man that the others wanted me to be has begun to fade away.
I’m still an odd combination of the two, but I am making an effort to focus more on who I truly am and hopefully one day that five year old me will be all grown up, living the life that he was always destined to live.
I have compiled this entire series, removed the ads, expanded on the concept and included bonus material now as a 17 page PDF download!