I really was debating about putting this post up because not only do I look quite ridiculous in this picture, but also because it's exposing some of the uncertainties and aspects of myself that I still grapple with. Yet here you are reading this - because I have answered the previous sentence with the title. Learning to take ourselves less seriously and being more open to sharing our whole selves, rather than fragments, can be uncomfortable. For a time. But the uncomfy leads to freedom, intimacy, joy and connection in a way that closing yourself off and tying up all the wild and weird parts of you into a neat little package never will.
Despite wearing my heart on my sleeve and continuous love for the various humans that are part of my life – I have always had a level of caution with others (don't we all, really?). It can be easy to put on the façade of easy-going, the bubbly bright me – because although she was there, there was still a drawbridge in place, there were still guards at the gates, wary of those that might try to challenge her fear of being truly seen.
There was a little while where I masqueraded around as if I had nothing to say – hiding my colourful parts, pretending I didn’t have opinions, burying them deep down so I came across as composed… a mask I had forged for myself to chameleon my way through life. And there are lots of things that can shatter this mask, that compel us to command the removal of the mask, to surrender to a new way of being. And for me, this was Love.
Love was the catalyst for my realisation that I needed to shake off the edited version of me and wholeheartedly embrace the all, the everything. For some of you it might be a moment or an emotion that allows another perspective to surface. For all of us, we can learn that there is enormous freedom when we shake off and dance away from the self-defeating pressures and society's expectations. It is too easy to be caught in the mundane; what a comfortable existence it would be if we never allowed ourselves to be exposed, to find spaciousness and realness in our daily world. Ask yourself the real questions: are you brutally honest with yourself? Who are you, really?
Accepting ourselves for who we are is not an easy task, but the more we allow ourselves to explore the possibility of this acceptance, the less we resist the things we cannot change. We can accept and relax in the knowledge that life is disruptive, messy, unpredictable. As The School of Life so eloquently puts it – a central source of our unhappiness is that we spend so much of our lives fearing for our reputations and wondering what other’s will think of us when we fail… why do we surrender our freedoms to the verdict of strangers? I am no beginner to this self-defeating habit, and still have to work on delving and listening and choosing peace, love and awareness over fear.
We are often discouraged out of being ourselves in order to fit an expectation or to conform a certain way. As my mum has often reminded me, we live in an evaluative, comparitive and judgmental society.... Consider how we allow certain situations and circumstances to define us in a good or bad way. The more we question who we are, our decisions and our actions - the more we can understand. The more aware we can become of when we need to let things go, to take ourselves less seriously and ENJOY LIFE!! If you aren't having fun... what are you doing!? Can you take yourself less seriously and accept what is... x