Authenticity is a fine edge. I know that my best self is self-restrained and magnanimous, merciful and forbearing, courageous. I like showing you that part of me. In each moment I am working hard to make choices that “move toward” my best self. On the flip side, my “moving away from” traits are confrontational, belligerent, adversarial, dictatorial. I’d like to believe I am fooling you into thinking I am none of those things, right?
(Are you clear on your high/moving-toward and low/moving-away-from traits? Enneagram can help. Take the test for $12 here, or check out this excellent book, The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey of Self Discovery )
Since I want to experience more of my high self, I focus on those traits. I choose them. I observe them. I celebrate them. That’s how manifestation works: you get more of what you focus on.
So, even though I struggle with my low self all the time (ugh!), I prefer to keep those battles locked in a dark closet, deprived of light and sight, where they will wither into oblivion.
Yeah, that’s my plan. It’s not working.
I have recently received feedback that my playfulness comes across as harsh, that I don’t share enough of my true self, and that I push too hard. I have said and done things (just this week) that landed flat, felt wrong, or got funny looks.
I am a mess of imperfection. We all are.
The intention of my work, here, is to find the beauty in this bumpy journey to wholeness and share it with you. We are putting together the broken pieces of our selves to create some even more beautiful.
Yeah, it sucks to strive for our higher self and discover our lower self is the flip side of the same coin. It can’t be split off. It won’t go away. It must be dealt with, integrated, embraced.
Our struggles give us information. They tell us what matters to us, what we need to be happy, and who we aren’t. Think of it this way: your desire to stay out of the ditch is what keeps you on the road. That feeling of discomfort is keeping you on your path. When we encounter something we don’t like about ourselves, it is holding up what we do like, in contrast, to show us opportunities where we can choose differently.
So, we can take our short-comings, our screw-ups, and our mis-steps and say “Ouch! That hurts. That sucks. I don’t like that,” and eventually, “Thank you. Now I know what to do differently.”
Since we’re all about practical, ACTIONABLE tips on this blog, let me share this one that my coach shared with me. When we say or do something we regret, use these magic words: “Next time I intend…” This phrase, repeated until it clicks, reprograms the brain to default to the desired behavior when the opportunity presents itself again.
And the opportunity always presents itself again.