Most of us start life with a self, an authentic yet undeveloped self, from which we build an identity designed to interface with the world we gradually discover is around us. There are as many kinds of souls as pebbles on a beach, and yet the majority of us end up looking and behaving so much alike.
This conformity allows us to adopt a social role and function in a society of others; the more diverse our habits and behaviours the less cohesive will be the group. And yet no matter how conventional we appear be, all of us are in a constant dialogue between our inner selves and the world around us.
But this process becomes skewed when we encounter prejudice at an early age, which teaches us to disavow that original self and focus too much of our attentions on the social interface we create. If the prejudice is strong enough – from family or the community – we can easily forget ourselves and start believing that we are our construct.
While this ability to construct an acceptable persona is highly effective for conformity, when taken to extreme our potential is diminished because we cannot access the energy and vision our true selves provide us. Motivated by what we believe others want can never lead to anything that is not rigid, fragile and compromised.
It’s been my experience that the most growth starts with disassembling. Many of us have years of accumulated behaviours and learning that mask our true natures, and it’s only when those are discarded can we really manifest what we were created to be.
It’s an awesome and humbling process because you have to surrender many layers of deeply held values and beliefs until you are naked to yourself and to your God. Identity, personality, and how you understand your relationship to yourself and the outer world. It is a journey not for the faint of heart, for reconnecting with your true nature means giving up all props and coping behaviours until there are no illusions as to your utter frailty and inconsequence.
But from that essential child’s place, in the mind and heart of an adult, you can now choose what clothes you will wear, what masks and why. There is nothing left to prove, no one to impress, nothing to fear. From that core place your light can shine without being dimmed by the accumulated filters of fear and pain and doubt tat others have dressed you with, in order to hide their own.
If you took away your style: clothing, hair, makeup; if you took away your possessions: house car, furniture; if you took away your relationships: parents, children, spouses and lovers; if you took away the things that occupy your time: work, chores, hobbies; if you couldn’t do anything: walk, talk, run, read, write, watch TV, what would be left? In the absence of all those things, would you recognise yourself? It is in that place, that place of nothing, where your true nature silently waits for you.