To be who you are
and become what you are
is the only goal
~ Alvin Ailey
Alvin Ailey's quote seems like a no-brainer: be who you are. Simple advice, but not always easy. The question becomes who are you really and what are you truly capable of? Who is this YOU? Is it the "you" you think you are supposed to be or you would like to be, or that your parents, partner, co-workers, society, want you to be? Is this in sync with your genuine self or is there some lack of alignment, and how do you know, how do you discern who you really are?
There may many expectations you are making of yourself or feel that others are making of you. These create a lot of anxiety, and activity aimed at giving the appearance of being confident, competent, fun, interesting, entertaining, or successful. Yet what is your internal experience? It is not a coincidence that many people are full of anxiety and a sense of internal emptiness and feel that they are impostors.
It takes a commitment of time and curiosity and maybe some nascent self-love, to explore your inner landscape, searching for clues of who you really are and in what direction your life wants to go. This may involve making some major changes that may be initially uncomfortable or frightening. Yet the benefits and ultimate payoff are vast!
When you are aligned with your authentic self and its needs ( this may evolve over time), you may feel relaxed, energized, in a flow, focused, even if you are busily working on a project; instead of stressing you out it excites and stimulates you, it comes from a place in you that is enlivening rather than depleting. It's a state of creativity, of attunement with yourself, with who you are and what you are capable of. Even if it is a challenge and pushes you out of your comfort zone, it feels growthful and aligned with something important deep inside yourself.
Call me for a free phone consultation
if you would like some assistance with discovering your true self
Peggy Handler, MFT, is a psychotherapist in San Francisco's Noe Valley