We spend a lot of time figuring out who we are—trying on different outfits and masks, interests and occupations, relationships and rejections, however haphazardly, in the quest for identity. We allow so much of how we define ourselves to get in the way of actually being ourselves.
“Just be yourself.” Just? It’s the hardest thing to be. Until we know what it is, we are being. And it’s not really knowing. It’s feeling, or perhaps knowing the truth of. It’s like a knowing that’s in our bellies and not our minds.
Who we really are is an essence. It’s ours. It’s distinct, and it’s pure. It’s what we came into this world with, and it’s all we’ll go out with. And it’s good. It’s so good. It is our own inherent unique brand of goodness. And that’s what makes it beautiful.
It doesn’t matter that we stumble around in our human bodies making messes of things. We’re supposed to. That’s what coming here entails. We’re still good, and we’re still beautiful in our messiness. But early on, we believe the lie that we’re not good, that our messes make us bad, unworthy, unlovable, and our essence goes underground. Shining out in our best moments but cloaked in layers of self-doubt, shame, inadequacy, and judgment, the residue gets thicker and thicker until we recognize what is happening, what we are doing to ourselves.
We didn’t start out that way, but over time, we gather all the external voices and compile them into an internal voice, becoming our own worst perpetrator in keeping us stuck by making us feel small.
You know what? We don’t have time for that shit anymore. We came here to do important things, heart things. We matter to the world we live in. That’s why we came here. Whatever gifts you are supposed to share with the world require you to step into your distinct goodness so you can pass the energy of goodness on to others who may need to be reminded of their own goodness so they can do the same thing. That’s how things get better.
It is time to claim our essence and see ourselves clearly.
Think of someone who loves or has loved you so much you feel it in your heart. Imagine yourself through their eyes with the goodness they see. Think of yourself in your happiest moment and imagine the sparkle that shimmered in your eyes. Think of a time when you felt most connected, most free, most peaceful, most safe. Your essence is there in all of it.
And in truth, our essence is always there if we can “just” be ourselves. Which really means if we can believe in our own inherent goodness.