You know how an idea or realization or a theme comes into your head and then all of a sudden it seems that it shows up everywhere – in conversations, in books, magazines, sign posts??? So it has been with me recently and the idea of accepting and welcoming every single last aspect of myself/oneself: the bits I’m proud of, the bits I’m not so proud of, insecurities, bad habits – the whole shi-bang. Who else is there to be but me? And after all these years, it’s not like the real me has ever gone away.
The other night at a memorable dinner party with a few close girlfriends somebody other than me brought this subject up. Apparently, all four of us were enamoured with and practicing (which is the key part) the concept of accepting every last bit ourselves. An unintended consequence we noticed is that we all felt more free to express ourselves whatever that might mean and that is really fun! I think this may be in part because we were all in our fifties (jees it is weird to say that!) and that kind of clarity about oneself is one of the great upsides of our age/stage. But it is a message that is coming through in the media, pop culture, etc. (I know, I know there are lots of things that counteract it as well in our culture). Being your ‘authentic’ self is pretty much hip at the moment in pop-psychology ie: ‘ vulnerable is the new strong’ – think Brene Brown, Gretchen Rubin and many others. This theme of accepting oneself no matter what your stripe, bent, kink, or type, is one of the messages we as a society are trying to make widespread in our schools – accepting others too no matter what their stripe, bent, kink or type (so long as it doesn’t involve non-consenting participants).
Ellen DeGeneres recently spoke on her passion about living out who you actually are. Russell Brant did a gorgeous mini rant of the subject (see my FB page June 15). The meditation book I am reading is all about this (rather than sitting stiffly and putting up with aches and pains). And just today in my practice, I found myself quoting some Shakespeare to a client: “And this above all, to thine own self be true!” Being true to yourself means not only being honest with yourself and with others it means that you’ve got your own back, don’t s..t on yourself, or beat yourself up for anything. You even don’t beat yourself up for beating yourself up! Try it sometime. It feels really, really good! It’s being your own best friend and that is the number one job of for each of us!