What does it mean to be 'yourself'?
We’ve all heard that being yourself was the best thing to be. As if somehow being who we are in a single moment is an authentic thing to be forever.
I don’t believe authenticity has anything to do with staying who or where we are; it’s about being present in a way that makes others feel at home in who they are. When we do this, genuine connections ensue.
For that reason, I’ve always been a huge proponent of flying my freak flag high. The thing is, I’m a big proponent of everyone flying their freak flag high, assuming the gifts given are the items in focus.
Showing your feathers is about implicitly encouraging others to show theirs.
Living freely & openly is about what it does for other individuals, not the fact that you’re the subject of a larger story when you express yourself. However, being the subject does put you at the center for a moment, and there’s something dubious about that.
Dubious, in that other people can react to it in two ways based on how genuine they feel you are. They can celebrate with you or they can play the naysayer. They can high-five you or cut you down.
As someone with the personal tendency to live colorfully, I’ve experienced both. I’ve also noticed that my personal authenticity, which is a sensation I can feel in myself, is directly correlated with how people feel when I speak my mind, turn up my volume, or otherwise express myself openly.
We all know the difference between ego & equanimity. We’re all plugged in, despite our various ways of describing it.
Even so, there are times when the ego wins out. It says, ‘I want the glory dammit!” and well, that’s a hard voice to reason with sometimes. But being attuned to it is good for all of us. It creates the space to come together, occasionally mutually digesting things instead of pitting them against each other.
Checking in with ourselves, the worthwhile question seems to be the following:
Is this expression of mine about being the subject, or is it coming from an authentic place?
As long as we can keep an open dialogue with our ego, life can be about what we create for others when we live authentically.
Living your truth, following your bliss, growing your passions, developing your skills, engaging with your community, and constantly learning, are about giving others permission to do the same. As great it feels to live your life that way, it’s really not about us.
It’s about leading by example with so that everyone can ‘be themselves.’
Fly your freak flag & give a gift. It’s one of the most generous things you can do.
Don’t you think?
Original published on Medium.com