it has already been three months into the new year. each day passes by so fast... and this is only the first time i've written since the year started. though i find myself somewhat troubled.... troubled by my own mental well-being...
i've been thinking a lot again lately. not something i expected. though that's one thing i've learned the past years - do not expect anything. same intensity as before, but i guess i'm more stronger and aware now, so it doesn't gripe me in fear too much anymore. It still can, but i can pry it loose most of the time.
recently, an opportunity for serious growth and self-reflection came my way, when a really close friend sent me the following statement: "when you are always conscious of how people might perceive you... you are actually thinking more about yourself than about them." this shook things up a lot in me. you can say i was caught truly unaware. how i felt - i felt challenged, lost, and a lot more insecure. there was so much truth in it, but it also felt like an attack to my Being. It's ironic in that way, as it was ironic how the words "authenticity", "self-conscious", "Being" seemed to have had two or more meanings. There were two ways that i had to see it from - from my point of view as My Own Being and from the point of view of my friend.
On my side, i found the truth in it because i am aware of my thoughts and feelings as they arise. i do feel self-conscious a lot, especially right afterwards talking with people. after being out there, i suddenly get a shock and realize that i might have said something wrong, that i was too forward or rash, that i was too "whatever" that i would worry about how i will end up looking. I am selfish being this way, and i feel guilty of being selfish. Of course, the very statement above also made me feel that i might have been a fake. This startled me a lot, that i felt dejected and listless, afraid and anxious, speechless and paralyzed. Has my 28 years of existence been a lie? Am i just who i think i am based on how i see people see me? So am i just projecting what they want to see me to be? Have i been living a lie? I asked so many questions of myself. I can't get it out of my head.
It troubled me so much, affected me, not just because there is the truth in it, but also because i was also trying to prove my existence - that i was real, that the life i have been living so far is true and real. I know that all this time, all i've said(and not said), done(and have not done), and experienced(and, you guessed it, have not experienced), are true, and i have been there when those things happened, aware but blind to it, up to the point that i am aware and facing it face to face, unable to run away anymore. When i speak my mind with really good friends, i convey these thoughts and feelings as i draw them from my heart, mind and soul. i have been true to myself and truly myself most times - in times when i can be alone, when i am with really good friends, and even with strangers. But i have to admit that on the other times, i work within the limits of "societal norms". I admit that i don't want things to get harder when things are already hard. I still have to live, work and function in this world with others, to coexist even if i am a usually antisocial and introverted person. I am still part of this world, even if at some point, i have to put on some cloak to hide some parts of myself so that i can fit in a little and be a good and respecting citizen. I do not want to destroy any thing - i want to help. I contribute. and part of this interwoven network and interconnected world. Only showing a fraction of my self... I am not fake, but yes, maybe i am a coward...
But, "living" my life so far, have i already done anything? Probably this is where my friend is coming from - her side, also the side that the Universe with Endless Possibilities present. Her statement also brought me back and helped me find myself once more - I am not lost, and I am not alone. I am here, now. And thanks to another friend, i am reminded of it all. Through another point of view, a much wider and broader one, Authenticity and Self-conscious somehow takes a somewhat different meaning. Authenticity in the sense that i live out more of myself in all that i do - speech, doing, Being - compared to the fraction i express and show to the world before. To not be afraid to shake things up a little in the world in the society with my ideas, my opinions, with My Presence. Taking rein and control of what i do, and doing more more aggressively. Rather, it is taking charge of myself rather than leaving it to the Heavens. It works that way - but at times, the Heavens do also wait for that very Action to roll the ball again so that we can progress to the next chapter(s) of our lives. To not be afraid anymore, and just be me. To Shine with my own Being, with my own Light. Just as we are all ought to be doing - radiating our Inner Light, so that others may find their Light and shine as well. To let go of the "self-conscious" that limits the Light to shine through, that controls what should have been long expressed, that shrinks away from the light of One's Being, that looks up on others and that sees only our own flaws, inhibiting our own confidence, our own Power, our Voice, and ultimately our Being.
We have grown to choking ourselves in our self-conscious ways because we don't want to offend society and to not make a disgrace out of ourselves - society has conditioned us to this, but we also played a passive role in letting it become a habit and a holding power in us. We blame others for being silent, yet we are ourselves guilty of being silent because we are afraid to rock the boat, limiting the change and improvement that will benefit one and all from coming into Being. WE chose not to speak up partly out of fear, and partly because we felt it was not our place nor within our power to do so. We are afraid to be casualties of a just cause, especially if we are not misguided at all. We fall back right into the same cage, the same rut. In the end, we disgrace ourselves for not being able to Live Fully, for not being able to just fully Be, for limiting ourselves from all that we can be. Degrading ourselves to be just less of what We already are - beautifully perfect and imperfect. Our perfect imperfection makes us unique and makes us who we are individually.
We don't find empowerment outside - just support - because empowerment comes from within. We hold the Key to ourselves, we hold the answers to our Life, We are our Life. All that matters now is, "Will i take charge? Will I use my Voice? Will I use my Life? Will I live my Life? Will I be I?" It is a challenge - will we heed the siren call and take it head on? Seriously, I still have to make my choice. And so do you.