jusummerhayes

Be yourself

It could hardly be simpler: be who you are.

I am, stupid.

Oh, I know you are.

But.

Then again, think back to your very earliest memory. 

What do you remember?

Me: all play — spontaneity on an unprecedented scale. 

So glorious. 

There was no this or that and certainly no consideration of what lay up ahead (i.e. adulthood). 

It didn't last long: primary education came bundling out of nowhere. 

And then? 

It was all about, well, in my case, doing as I was told. Same drill as home — pretty much.

In truth, or so it now seems, all that was happening was that I was being prepared for Cubicle Nation. 

Sad, eh!

As a segue, I still remember the old man confronting my Head Teacher about something that had been said to me by one of my teachers. I don't remember the exact words but it was something along the lines of "...your son will be a bin man if he carries on misbehaving". What's wrong with being a bin man you might ask? F* knows, but it sure irked the old man who went a bit loopy-lou; he made it plain, in no uncertain terms, that no son of his (he only had two) was going to aspire to such a thing. In hindsight, I get where he was coming from — to a slight degree — but the truth of the matter was that my education was about as bad as it could have been, and if my old man had felt that pissed off, perhaps he should have asked himself a slightly more profound question than what sort of trade his youngest son should pursue? 

I'll admit I shed a few tears over constantly be bludgeoned to make up my mind about my future job. Then, as now, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my one and oh-so-precious life. Why couldn't they — the old folks — leave it at that? They cared? About what I wonder? My welfare? Or fitting in, being a good little boy and not rocking the boat called WORK — i.e. the thing we least want to do?

The point I'm making is that rather than inviting the question apropos of my gifts and talents, my spiritful self was being backed into a putative job for the rest of my effing life. 

Anyhow, back to my case at point.

You.

All of you?

Have you ever wondered what might have been if you'd done one thing different to what you actually did?

I have — a lot.

Why did I go off to London aged 19?

Why did I start a recruitment business within the three months of arriving in London, only to see it fail a few years later when my erstwhile 'partner' broke down and pulled the plug, without telling me?

Why did I choose to go back to University aged 25 and study law?

Why did I leave law aged 43 without any plan about I'd do next?

Why did my wife marry me? (I'm amazed she's stuck with me all these years — god knows what she sees in me.)

Truth is, at least my truth, I'll never get to the bottom of any of these questions. Oh sure, I can postulate an answer but it won't be an accurate representation of what was arising at the time. 

Isn't that strange?

Yes and no.

Yes, in so far as we are moved, as well as the mover; but, no, in that why should our lives be anymore explainable than the rest of the (known) Universe?

Again, my point.

Self-enquiry (and I've done lots of it) is wonderful but sooner or later you run into a brick wall; namely, 

not knowing.

So where does that leave us in the 'be yourself' department?

Not much further on than where we started. In short, it's no easy matter letting go of any and/or all attachment — particularly when we've been so heavily conditioned by the system — but the moment we do, we realise, or at least that's my experience, that everything is a deep, transcendent mystery and I've found that (not always...!) deeply liberating.

I know, not much of a best seller or one that will garner masses of likes and loves; but all I'm really saying is that the more we try to find ourselves, the less likely we'll succeed. 

Instead, the transcendent freedom and spiritual connection we feel when we're not trying to be anything or get anywhere is always more natural than the hocus pocus of personal development.

Try it. 

Being you: the real you.

Take care.

Blessings, Ju.

Photo by Chewy on Unsplash


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