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What a liberating thought — I am free to be me! Think about it... for years we have been molded and pushed to behave in certain 'acceptable' ways. We have been asked to adhere to tradition, to behave according to certain accepted rules of behavior, and to dress according to the norm. To act like the Jones. To make sure we didn't "paint outside the lines".
We may have done as we were told, fearing punishment or worse, afraid of not being loved. We have accepted beliefs that others held without question. We agreed with what others said about us -- that we were smart, stupid, pretty, ugly, etc. You have believed that what others thought was true of you had to be so — that others knew best -- that they were smarter or wiser and somehow knew what was good for you.
Look Within -- What Will You Find?
Yet, if you look within, you know that some of those accepted beliefs are not necessarily your truths. They are the truths of those around you. For example as a child, you may have been told that you were too noisy, or too playful, or asked too many questions. Now obviously, if you were behaving in that fashion this was how you wanted to be -- that was the real you wanting to express itself. When we were told that we were 'too' this or 'too' that, we felt that our behavior must be incorrect and adapted ourselves to what was expected of us... and thus lost our spontaneity and joy in the process.
Whose rules are we following now? The ones imposed by our parents? And whose rules were they following? Their parents? It goes back for many millennium and has nothing to do with us.
Need there be rules at all? If we all were true to our "inner self" or our "higher self", rules would be unnecessary -- though we certainly aren't at that point, yet. However, we all have an ingrained sense of right and wrong, of what is loving and what is not, of what is "kind" and what is not.
Trusting Our Sense of Joy & Spontaneity
It is time to return to trusting ourselves -- to trusting our small inner voice, our sense of true joy and spontaneity. We need to free up our true selves by releasing them from the chains and rules of conduct that were imposed on us. We are trustworthy! We can follow our inner wisdom and it will always support us and guide us.
I am free to be me! This thought, when affirmed regularly, brings freedom. Now the first thing you may notice, as you tell yourself that you are free to be you, are certain fears, doubts, and guilt coming up. I remember thinking that the 'me' that was inside was not a 'good' one — that I was selfish, unworthy, unlovable, etc. etc.
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When you look inside yourself, you may discover some similar beliefs — that if you are truly 'yourself' you will be unacceptable to your boss, friends, mate, co-workers, etc. Yet that is simply a figment of your imagination, of your fears, or of someone else's fears.
Taking the Risk to Heal: I am free to be me!
The 'you' inside is that same innocent, spontaneous child that you were — the one who was amazed at the beauty of a dandelion flower, or that could find immense joy in splashing around in a mud puddle — that playful being who enjoyed the present and did not concern itself about "proper" and acceptable societal norms (i.e. dirty clothes, weeds on the lawn, 'proper' attire and behavior, etc.).
That spontaneous, natural, and joyful person still resides inside of you. All you need to do is give it permission to 'come out and play'.
We can now step forth from behind our masks and take the risk to be real... to express our joys, our fears, our insecurities, our love, our hopes, and our dreams. I am free to be me! I can allow myself to be spontaneous. I can let myself be real and feel my feelings, express the truth as I see it in the present moment, and let my love for life radiate from my being, expressed in my thoughts, words, and actions.
Trust yourself. You are an innocent, joyful being. Within you are the seeds of joy, happiness, and success. Affirm: "I am free to be me! I am free to express myself in whatever ways seem loving and true to my inner being. I am free to be me and to create the world I want around me. I have the right to express my inner divinity and to live a life of love, joy, and creativity."
You Are a Child of the Universe
Trust your instincts. Trust that small inner voice that guides you to the right, loving action. That small inner voice is who you really are. That terrible person you have imagined yourself to be is a machination of your imagination, fears, and self-doubts. Yes, you have made mistakes... haven't we all? Yes, you had instances where you were unjust, petty, and did not express loving or peaceful thoughts. Those are nothing more than experiences that you went through -- errors in judgment. It's time to forgive yourself and give yourself another chance to act in harmony with love and kindness and joy.
Your true inner self is still an innocent, loving being -- an angel in physical form. That is who you are. You can reclaim it now! You are free to be who you really are! A divine child of the Universe...
When You Think You're Not Enough -- The Four Life-Changing Steps to Loving Yourself
by Daphne Rose Kingma.
Bestselling author and psychotherapist, Daphne Rose Kingma, offers a four-step plan to reclaim and love ourselves. Complete with stories and examples to drown out the inner critic, When You Think You’re Not Enough sets out to remind us that we’re more than enough.
About The Author
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
Creative Commons 3.0: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License. Attribute the author: Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article: This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com