If "manners maketh man" as someone said He's the hero of the day It takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile Be yourself no matter what they say
Oh, I'm an alien, I'm a legal alien I'm an Englishman in New York
How intriguing is the uniqueness of a person. The habits, the tendencies, the preferences, the passion. The dogmas, opinions and triggers. Everyone spins in their own way. It's remarkable and beautiful, isn't it?
I don't drink coffee, I take tea, my dear
I like my toast done on one side
And you can hear it in my accent when I talk
I'm an Englishman in New York
Be yourself no matter what they say. After all, there is only one version of you, so who's going to live it?
It is remarkable and yet also scary. Why would it be so challenging to simply be you?
Perhaps it's the unknown aspect of it. Who and what you really are is partly known from your experiences, and yet it's also largely unknown potential lying in the future. In the game of poker called life, not all cards at the table are known. It's a gamble.
When you took a gamble in the past, sometimes you won and sometimes you lost in the sense that sometimes it worked out the way you wanted, and sometimes it did not. That felt good or not so good - and generally we try to avoid the outcomes that cause negative feelings and move towards what gives us positive feelings. Once you burned yourself once, you rather not do it again.
This unpredictability may be why we have becomes hesitant to be our spontaneous self.
This hesitation could very well be for good reasons. Perhaps aspects of your spontaneous self were unbalanced, disruptive and incompatible with your environment. Or you were misunderstood or 'different' or not meeting expectations. Whatever the situation may have been - sometimes it went your way, sometimes it did not.
Especially in the early childhood years, we are impressionable. We don't know much about this world, and so we dependent on others to survive. It's only normal that we would adjust to make sure we fit in. Over time we may forget altogether what our spontaneous self feels and is like. Impressionable as you were, if you grew up in an unsafe or stressful environment, your adjusted self will have been shaped as a response to that. Rarely will someone grow up in perfect harmony inside and outside.
So, by the time we are independent enough to survive on our own, we may have long forgotten about our spontaneous self or large chunks of it. You have lost some freedom to simply be you. And yet, life does not seem to give up on letting you know that.
It does this in the form of resistance. In the middle of your road, the pavement is very smooth, like you are gliding on ice. The further you move from its center, the rougher it seems to get. All kinds of roadblocks start to appear. If the middle of the road is out of sight, you may muscle through whatever blocks your way or give up while getting stuck somewhere on that side of the road. There may be other roads you can take that may seem attractive or a way out as well.
All roads do gravitate back to that original spontaneous road though. Nothing else feels quite right or as fulfilling. Life becomes increasingly difficult, sluggish, diseasing the further you wonder off. When you experience that - take it as a sign that you are not as free as you want to be.
Finding your center road back to your spontaneous self probably means you gotta get back at the poker table and be ready to lose. Getting comfortable with losing may really free you up. What is there to lose anyway?
When you are a one year old, there is a lot to loose. The stakes are very high, your life is on the line. As a grownup, your range of choices has increased considerable. You know the game a lot better now. So what's a stake? Your face, reputation, self-worth? Abandonment, rejection, judgements, conflict? Fear of loss, meaninglessness, emptiness, failure? Responsibility, status, success and control? How much grip does this game have on you? How much freedom are you giving away in return?
Choice. That's what is comes down to. The cards are dealt and it's your turn. Play it safe. Take a risk. How good are your cards? There is no good or bad. It's just a game. To learn to get better at it, you need to be in the game. Every outcome is a learning opportunity to get better and most importantly to discover the unrealized potential in you. The risk is not being reckless. The risk is not ever experiencing the true unique person you are.
To be willing to take that risk is much aided by accepting all that is. The habits, the tendencies, the preferences, the passion. The dogmas, opinions and triggers. That makes up your unique personality. All is well. All is good. The good, the bad and the ugly. It's you being you in your own unique way. It is how the game has formed you. Perhaps take the next bump as a road sign to get closer to your favourite road - your favourite way of life.
The next level is to see and accept this uniqueness in everything and everyone. The other person is just like you sitting at the poker table. Perhaps you do not like his or her style. Yet, when you look closer - what do you see? When you look beyond making it personal - what amy have formed this person's way of playing the game? And what untold stories does this person sit on? It is truly a gift to be able to see true the pokerface - and giving others the freedom to be themselves. Why not? What's at stake? What's your potential gain or loss?
Know yourself. Accept yourself. Be yourself (no matter what they say). Experience the uniqueness and freedom to be you.