Do you ever feel a complete phony? Do you find yourself playing a part, which deep down you know is false?
Like the Velveteen Rabbit, we all yearn to be real. But often we don’t know where to begin.
As very young children, we were innocent and open and completely real. We hadn’t constructed personas to hide behind or selves with which to navigate the world. But over time these developed and became our accustomed way of being. And now we’re stuck with them … or so it seems.
The good news is we can reconnect to our original sweet-faced self and re-experience the delight we knew as children of being real and true, fresh and new.
Here are some signposts to start you on your journey back:
- Show vulnerability
Vulnerability means taking risks. It means laying aside all our carefully constructed defenses and being seen.
You’ll be exposing what’s underneath the mask, and it probably won’t feel good. In fact, it will feel scary. But stay in that scary place. It is much more real than the more comfortable, familiar world of your outer persona. This is your way back to the real you.
- Be honest
Most of us believe we are basically honest. But are we, really? While we probably don’t make a habit of lying and cheating, we still may be less than scrupulously honest with ourselves.
Do you ever think your problems are someone else’s fault? That others are to blame for what’s wrong in your life? If so, you’re being less than honest. Honesty means having the courage to see what you’re doing—often unconsciously—that’s messing up your life and relationships.
This is not easy, but essential. Without self-honesty, we can never be real.
- Connect to reality
To be real, you need to be in touch with what is real.
What’s that? There are levels of reality from the most superficial (ephemeral thoughts and emotions) to the transient (the outer world around us) to the most profound (through the body to the worlds within). The deeper you go, the more real you become.
During your day, consciously abandon the superficial, be present with what is present around you and reach towards the profound. In this way, you’re practicing being real.
- Keep your heart open
Most of us feel we need to protect our hearts. We’ve been hurt in the past. We don’t want to be hurt in the future. So we keep our hearts closed.
The trouble with this strategy is it backfires on us. Going around with a closed heart, closes us off from others and ourselves. It makes it nigh impossible to experience joy and love and light-heartedness. It condemns us to a robotic existence that lacks the luster of a heart-felt life.
Choose, instead, to keep your heart open and receive all the blessings this brings.
As you journey back through yourself to the real you, the chances are you’ll encounter seemingly insurmountable difficulties.
These may show up as painful experiences or stubborn resistance or undermining doubts. Don’t believe them! They are simply obstacles thrown in your path to deter you. Who by? The part of you that wants to hang on to the safety and familiarity of the past.
But, if you’ve read this far, the larger part of you yearns to be real. And, just like the Velveteen Rabbit, you can be. You simply need to continually step out of the habitual until you find yourself in the sweet, fresh innocence you knew as a child.
About the Author
Meg McCready Meg works behind-the-scenes at Healing Connections, taking care of our website, our FB page and our newsletter amongst other things.