To find your true self . . be true

I read a really good post the other day over at emergingfromthedarknight about being real and it got me thinking about self and what it means. It’s a topic every single person knows intimately, if not expertly. Because the self isn’t as obvious a thing as most of us would like to believe. In fact, it can be argued that the longest journey is the one we take to self.

Some are blessed to live with a true sense of self and some struggle to find the path. And then we have those darlings of deceit who believe they’ve got it all figured out without ever really trying. And there are plenty of peeps out there who relegate their ‘self’ to the industry of shallow pursuits, namely vanity. These peeps ain’t evil, just human. Hell, it’s easy to buy in to societal standards that reward pretty faces and fat bank accounts. Who doesn’t love that shit? But if that’s all you aspire to, welp . . at some point you’re gonna find yourself curled up in a corner with a box of chocolates whilst singing that old Peggy Lee classic Is That All There Is?

Imagine yourself as a personal economy- reliant on goods and services in order to function. As far as goods are concerned, you need to strike a balance as per local manufacturing and imported goods. If you order too much takeout, you’re gonna pay the price. The same thing goes for our personal economy: If we template our identities to resemble all the pretty little lies that come standard with status, it’s a recipe for disappointment.

Personally, I’m on the path. While not a status driven individual any longer, I’m apt to fall for the wrong ideas simply because they’re so damned appealing. And then there’s that vanity thing. The ‘Mr. Hyde’ in me would love to look like Tom Brady, have Richard Branson money and be married to Vera Farmiga. Not because I have any blessed idea what these things feel like, but because my perception is that they would be pretty fucking great. Of course that’s not how it works. Wanting to be something or someone without having any firsthand knowledge of it is akin to being a five year old who wants to drive a car. All the enthusiasm in the world won’t get you out of the parking lot . . . and then what?

So . . . this search for self. Where do we find it? Glad you asked, because the obvious answer is in the mirror. But this would be as simplified as my examples of a ‘personal economy’ and five year old driver. The mirror is where we go to get the latest weather, but it ain’t much good at forecasting even five minutes beyond that. The mirror as a metaphorical value is the right answer.

Like I said earlier, self is a journey; in some instances, it’s an arduous one with pitfalls and potholes and dead ends.  You can’t buy your true self on Amazon or cull it from a top selling book on stoicism. Nah, the self is truth. It possesses limitless potential, but it can also be an anchor for those who judge everything as a commodity rather than a gift.

The true self encompasses polarities that can either swallow or steel you. It can thieve your best intentions or grant absolution. Finding your true self demands introspection and it requires you to make difficult decisions. It’s a diet regimen for the soul. And as with any diet, discipline and patience are a daily requisite. Be mindful that failure and success are dancing partners. You cannot experience one without the other. So don’t be afraid of the yin, because it is your introduction to the yang.

This is the path, this is the goal and this is the journey.

I’ll leave you with a hopeful little excerpt from Emerging’s post, which I highly recommend. Her blog is a daily enrichment, painted in all the complicated and wonderful colors of this thing called life.

The energy of soul does not disappear when we are not aware of it.  It does not disappear when we are pretending to be real.  It just waits for us to discover it, to be willing to allow it to breathe through us and enable it to be present.

True thing.

63 thoughts on “To find your true self . . be true”

  1. Can you imagine waking up one day with a true sense of self. No more searching and struggling. Would we miss the challenge? Would we be disappointed in the self we have discovered and be forced to face that self for the rest of our days? I think this spectre is what keeps us all questing. Super post, Marc. Loved the video as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true John. It’s almost as if the journey IS the thing. The whole thing, and nothing but the thing.
      Truth is hurting. Unpleasant and inconvenient. But I am discovering that a certain amount of hurting is actually cleansing.
      Peace and thank you for the wonderful comment.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The truth, the true self diet you speak of — I’ve got that down. I’ve never been into material things and climbing corporate ladders, etc. But the real diet thing… damn if I didn’t wish I could eat French fries all day every day. I suppose if I have to settle for getting one of them right, I’m happy with my lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love this comment Tara. You’ve got your priorities right..which makes you an anomaly of sorts. In today’s world it seems that too many people want to be anybody but themselves.
      French fries every day??? Yes and please!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve always been a freak, and that’s OK with me. 🙂

        OK. I’ll share my fries with you. Just no double-dipping in the ketchup… or cheese… or whatever other topping we use.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s entirely the result of your amazing post and your suggestion that I blog some of my thoughts on being real .
      I think the ping back is good. And thank you again. Your post was truly the inspiration.

      Like

  3. It is designed so beautifully that nothing can corrupt it. You’ve either discovered it or you haven’t. There is no purchasing it at the local market, stealing it from under someone else’s tree or bribing it from the…ahem…government 😀
    That is its majesty, it must be discovered, and only then when you look inside ‘your’ heart, the one that has tripped and stumbled for years trying to find that so called ‘happiness’ that is out there somewhere. Not realising it is gently waiting within for us to understand its beauty ❤
    Well written, your journey is taking in the sights well 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t found it. I’m failing currently. On more counts than the obvious ones. But within these losses I am finding answers. Sometimes I feel like the only one in the room who gets the punchline. But this is no joke. And I respect that.
      Yes to the majesty. There’s so much to cull from that one sentence you penned. So very much.
      My journey is similar to a great many pilgrims. Spiritual hippies looking for salvation inside the big bang rock concert.
      It’s an amazing grace of tiptoe pleads.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just did a post on our search for happiness, because of your post here. I’m an older soul, so to speak, and in it I give you what I saw, felt and understood. You will only understand what you are ready for, but in this life you most certainly will get to ‘see’ your true self. That love and happiness is waiting for when you take that fateful step, the one where you face those fears within, and banish them by understanding them 😀
        A hard journey…most certainly…but if it wasn’t you wouldn’t appreciate what you have had to endure to understand its beauty ❤ 😀

        Like

      2. So well said Mark.
        Beautiful too.
        It’s not fear that drives me now. It’s truth and the understanding of its foibles. Curious thing. Truth. Everyone totes their own bag full of ’em. A different currency, transacted on the rooftops of those crazy stars.
        Your comments tonight have helped me a great deal.
        More than you know.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh please stop your belly aching over not scoring that 87 cent cup of Joe, Sandra!
      Of course I’m messing with ya. And perhaps you are right. Maybe it doesn’t come clear until we are sands in the cosmic hour glass.
      Shit I hope not. Impatient as I am. Lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. well I loved the 5 year old with a car analogy – ahh – fresh (have heard so many over the years – that one raised an eyebrow – it was good – esp. the then what)
    and liked this:
    “but because my perception is that they would be….”
    cos so much is based on how we interpret in an ongoing manner.
    and your post reminds me of a recent Katy Perry interview – I saw a snippet of it – and I guess she is soul – searching these days…
    I did mine in my early 20s – and whew nice to have it out of the way – but I think that everyone at some point needs to a few seasons of discovering self- how we were wired, shaped, hurt, edified, and then how habits and goals might need a looking at….
    and some need it more often than others

    Like

      1. ha – well it does need to move in cycles at times – and for I found my later thirties had that “kicked in the ass too many times feel” and took some rediscovering and maybe even healing.
        ahhh -= so nice when it moves through
        and I have a feeling you will find what you need….
        just sense it –

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There in lies the rub. I found the girl of my dreams. And I let her go. To say it’s complicated would be cliche. But. It’s complicated.
        I won’t use the time tested standard of ” Just my luck ” though. It seems that I must dive deeper.
        To find the sense.
        And I hope to God Peter Benchley didn’t write up my ending.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. don’t know Peter so cannot respond to that – and wish I was in the know –
        but if you let her go – it might have been meant to be – well I think so – and as you noted – it is complicated – but maybe it is not too late?
        if it is too late – then she was not your life mate – or it would have happened – I firmly believe that

        Liked by 1 person

      4. She s a writer. A hell of a writer. It’s how we met. And fire commenced.
        I’ll have more to share soon enough.
        I’m in that place where I’m grateful for having known what it feels like to believe in that thing called love. While at the same time wondering whether it ever is quite enough.
        No complaints. No regrets. Just there.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Finding our true selves takes a lifetime. We search, we scavenge, we try to solve our true selves. It is a never ending journey that we take, and the search for our true selves is LIFE. Longing for a true self, a self that is hidden deep within us, a self that we are disconnected from, and yet we know that this hidden self is who we really are, deep down.
    And we will never be fully reconnected with this hidden self, for if we could, Life would be meaningless, and without purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Intriguing post to ponder. Life seems to create the dilemma among finding self, integrating self in with others, and (as a result) what others think/perceive. 25 years ago a boss told me something that has haunted me ever since – it’s not who you are, it’s what others think you are. – To him, perception was more important … or should I say that perception is reality.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t forgotten your If challenge. I am sans lap top until tomorrow. I left it whilst on a brief vacation but I have something for ya and I do not dare post from my phone since it still needs a few details.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Gosh wonderfully written and powerful post! I’ve always believed that no matter what we go through in life, there’s a core which remains constant- perhaps that is the true self- I think we know it in a more raw state, but I think rediscovering it can take a lifetime. Either way, this has given me plenty to ponder and really liked that video at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OG,
      I am thrilled by your comment. Thank you. I’ve been incredibly introspective lately. Owning my shit was a process. It is easy to blame the universe but the gains are ill gotten and empty. To delve inside one’s self and deliver an unembellshed report card is work. Hard work. But I’m finding it’s value more and more. To admit your failures is a success. To learn from it a gift. To change accordingly is everything.
      I took a couple days off to relearn myself. It’s an ongoing process but I’ve gotten a lot out of it. Did some hiking along the Appalachian Trail this morning and simply Zenned out. It was glorious. I was finding myself in each step. It’s humbling.
      Peace and best wishes to you

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I’m glad! Yes I really agree with that- it’s tough facing upto yourself. I do agree with that sentiment. That’s wonderful. I think it’s amazing that you’re taking the time to do this and I think it will be incredibly rewarding in the long run as well. And to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah I think that’s a good point. I’ve taken time out for introspection in the past as well and it an be very emotionally draining. But I think we have to explore the darkest parts of ourselves in order to be (a bit more) enlightened. Plus it can be a bit like ripping off a plaster- better to do it quicker 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Shit. Every time I pulled the perfect excerpt, I found another one. Loved all of it, especially this: “It can thieve your best intentions or grant absolution. Finding your true self demands introspection and it requires you to make difficult decisions. It’s a diet regimen for the soul”. Bravo and thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries. You’re welcome! Our instructor just talked about truth and self in our restorative yoga class this evening, and I thought I didn’t need to listen, you already covered this today! Thanks. I enjoyed writing the post this morning. Hope the phone straightens itself out. Have a great weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I was moved by your post, and your that video meander through Chicago. It’s been forever since I was there, but the shots bring me back and thank you for that.
        As I mentioned in my comment, your piece also had me reconciling things. It provoked and incited me, which is what great writing does.

        Peace and all good things

        Like

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