“Just be yourself!” I used to cringe when I heard that phrase. “How do I do that?,” I thought. But over the years, little by little, through each interaction and relationship, I am finding my own answer.

I learn to be myself by examining the fears that drive me to act otherwise. I ask, “Why do I say and do the things I don’t want to, and not say and not do those I do?”

The motive for this phony behavior is born of a false notion that it will get me what I want and need, coupled with the fear that following my truth will yield the opposite.

Underlying this fear is a lack of trust that I am enough just as I am. When I see myself as inadequate, I seek outside validation and modify my behavior from what is natural in an attempt to manipulate others into giving me what I think I need. The tragedy is that even if I succeed in convincing others to regard me in a certain light, what they are validating is a false persona, rather than the real me. This not only leaves me wanting, but also feeling like a fraud.

These machinations stem from a distrust in the Universe and the misperception that I have the ability to manipulate it into something that it is not. How could I possibly change something from what it is into what it isn’t?

The remedy is discernment, recognizing the false as false, and embracing the simple reality that I am as I am and all else is as it is. From this pure recognition arises Love.

I see a benevolent Universe that supports and guides me and everyone else always and everywhere. I trust the Universe. This trust gives me the courage to “just be myself” and allow everyone else to do the same.

One Comment

  1. Jocelyn Blanco

    Beautiful, Joe. This is so powerful and true. I have recently become aware of just how much I would bend for outward approval, and have been practicing coming from a place of love for myself. Not just acceptance, but an enthusiasm for what it feels like to be me in the world.

    Thank you for your words.
    Hope you’re well!

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