The topic for this week’s ‘He Says, She Says…‘ post is ‘The Authentic Self’. For many years I considered myself to be a chameleon of sorts, in that I could be basically what anyone wanted me to be. Ask five people what I was like and you’d get five different answers because I only presented facets of myself to any one person at any one time. Now we all have our perceptions of others, and largely these perceptions of others are really about ourselves, but I took it a step or two beyond that. In a way I was acting out Billy Joel’s ‘The Stranger‘. Part of it was a game of sorts; mostly it was fear of showing my ‘true self’. You can read more about that in a story I wrote back in 2002, just after Marcia and I were engaged: The Box
It’s coming up to eight years since I wrote that story. Who I am now is much different than the person I was then. It’s been quite a journey for me to come to terms with my ‘self’, and yet also the one journey I could take.
“‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Turn this around and say, ‘Love yourself as you love your neighbor,’ for often you will recognize the goodness in another and ignore it in yourself. Some people believe there is a great merit and holy virtue in what they think of as humility. Therefore to be proud of oneself seems a sin, and in that frame of reference true affirmation of the self is impossible. Genuine self-pride is the loving recognition of your own integrity and value. True humility is based upon this affectionate regard for yourself, plus the recognition that you live in a universe in which all other beings also possess this undeniable individuality and self-worth.
“False humility tells you that you are nothing. It often hides a distorted, puffed-up, denied self-pride, because no man or woman can really accept a theory that denies personal self-worth.
“Fake humility can cause you to tear down the value of others, because if you accept no worth in yourself you cannot see it in anyone else either. True self-pride allows you to perceive the integrity of your fellow human beings and permits you to help them use their strengths. Many people make a great show out of helping others, for example, encouraging them to lean upon them. They believe this to be a quite holy, virtuous enterprise. Instead they are keeping other people from recognizing and using their own strengths and abilities.
“Regardless of what you have been told, there is no merit in self-sacrifice. For one thing it is impossible. The self grows and develops. It cannot be annihilated. Usually, self-sacrifice means throwing the ‘burden’ of yourself upon someone else and making it their responsibility.” ~ The Nature of Personal Reality, session 674.
So… It’s a fine balance we walk, between being ‘selfish’ and ‘selfless’, between being egotistical and simply having a healthy level of ego, between being self-loving and narcissistic. I think we must each begin with honest self assessment, coupled with simple acceptance. If we don’t like what we find when we look within, that’s okay. It may mean we have a journey of self-discovery to undertake or continue, but we must begin with who, what, and where we are right now. If we refuse to accept ourselves, to love the unloveable parts, then we have nothing on which to build. It can be a painful journey at times, but it can also be incredibly rewarding, full of hope and promise and joy and beauty and laughter and insights and giggles and… well, you get the idea. As old beliefs bubble up to the surface, simply love them and let them go. Love yourself enough to let them go too. You may feel at times that there’s a ‘vaccuum’ inside you where all of these old beliefs used to live, but that’s okay too. You’ll be filled with new understandings, new Ways of Being and new perceptions soon enough. If you didn’t like yourself when you carried these beliefs within you, you don’t have to be sorrowful when they leave. I’ve often said that things like negativity, limiting ideas and beliefs aren’t things that cling to us, they’re things we cling to instead. Sometimes we hold these beliefs loosely, but often – usually – we hold to them with clenched fist. Open your hand and relax. Stretch those fingers a little. Work out the cramps. Be who you are.
I’m going to close this with a section from what I usually refer to as the ‘CC Writings‘. Well worth reading, BTW (and they have paper copies of the sessions available as a book too!).
“Making Choices, Looking Back, Releasing Dramas
Of course, it is always a good thing to continue to make your choices as you move through the perfection, remembering that you create, rather than wondering whether some facet of the event will go one way or another. Simply choose what you want. Trust it and allow it to unfold. For truly you already are walking in your new creation. And it is not that you will cross some magic border, but it is more simply that you will come to integrate that knowing into all of yourself. There has been so much progress that we would say it is now difficult for you to perceive where you have come from. For it is not a place where you are capable of being, or can be, now. And so, we would set you to the task of rejoicing. The rejoicing itself brings you more properly in line with the understanding of where you are. In some ways you are like the man who has survived the storm, ship-wrecked at sea, and is now lying high on the beach in the warm sun. He has already achieved everything he set out to – he has survived. But he will not really understand this until he wakes up. And so perhaps in his dreams he is still battling the raging seas. From now on, each thing you choose will come with ease and simplicity to you, as you learn to allow it to do so. It will simply show up. Think of it like breathing, you made the choice to be born into physical reality, which necessitates breathing. You do not need to spend time remembering to breathe, remembering to choose breathing. You trust it and it shows up. In just such a manner, you are learning to trust all of your creations. Now see yourselves in this place. There is very little to complain about.
People will say, “What do you do when you want bla bla bla?” and you say, “Oh, I choose it.” You will notice that the greatest challenge when you have achieved this state is that the dramas will all be gone. There will be nothing to complain about. And the greatest gift will be in place of the dramas: a deepening connection and a more thorough explanation of the highest goals and desires of the self. By choosing to be gods you trade in the distracting for the authentic adventure, an ongoing quest for a deeper and deeper knowing of the self and all that surrounds you in this, your creation. To extend yourself and perceive the nature of ideas of all different kinds and of all other forms of consciousness around you. Knowing them at once as a part of and separate from, and as dependent and free from the self. This is the great excitement of physical reality.
You have also observed the coming of the new cycle. With the introduction of those others who will make up your new community. There will be more. Allow yourselves to experience the joy of these relationships. And allow these relationships to provide you with the free space that you need to share and explore the ideas and the progress you have made. For the sharing of the ideas is the sharing of information, the building of new bridges of knowledge, and the providing of new opportunities. This is your gift to give and to receive. And these relationships which no longer serve you in this same way will transform to serve you in new ways, or in some cases, transform by disappearing. Follow your impulses and pay attention to the subtle energies in your bodies. You do not need to weigh yourselves down with deep or heavy thoughts. Simply allow, watch, and allow the transformations to take place, remembering judgment is not a requirement. Also recognize that in the process of leaving old dramas and diversions and distractions behind it is not necessary or desirable to create new ones.”
Follow this link to read Marcia’s View.