Nick Fisher, Unsplash
As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.
Just let go. Let go of how you think your life should be, and embrace the life that is trying to work its way into your consciousness. — Caroline Myss
If you should find, for instance, an ineradicable tendency to believe in God or immortality, do not allow yourself to be disturbed by the blather of so-called freethinkers. And if you find an equally resistant tendency to deny all religious ideas do not hesitate: deny them and see how that influences your general welfare and your state of mental or spiritual nutrition. — Jason E. Smith
Being yourself in a world that wants to make you a carbon copy of the currently admired model is an exercise in self determination. That little exercise can easily take a lifetime. There are infinite layers of yourself to discover. That seems to be why we are here, to uncover that vein of gold and give it to the world.
It has taken me a long time to come to the obvious realization that I’m not living for myself, yet I have to have enough confidence to question everything for myself. I have to pass it before my own judgement, which requires a certain kind of self assurance.
I started out admiring the greats, feeling overshadowed and eclipsed, as I circled my core self through the years. Of course I didn’t know how far I was from accepting, appreciating and nurturing what was in me, but I struck out on the path anyway, inspired by those who seemed to embody the inspiring integrity and wisdom I craved.
Now, with old age just over the hill, so to speak, I still find myself tentative as I consider the ultimate questions, but I can say that I have lived inside my true nature, even when I was confused. When I was confused, at least I didn’t pretend to be dead certain.
I put my feet on the path of art and ideas, and I’m glad I did. I feel fortunate in being permitted to indulge my natural bent to the extent I have been. I don’t feel I’ve lived someone else’s life.
So, it’s a combination of true interest — passion, if you will — questioning, with the self confidence to search for yourself and find your own answers, that makes for a real life. You have to honor how you are made, as Jason Smith says. You have to identify and follow your own star.
If I were a counselor, I would try to help people have both the confidence to reject received wisdom, while holding their own ideas and judgements lightly. We are fed so much nonsense as we grow up that it’s inevitable that we base our lives on falsehoods if we’re not alert to our conditioning.
Our job to a certain extent is to raise ourselves. Those who are lucky find mentors, but absent that our task is to live as our true selves, however we can manage it.
- Anima Fire is my publication