The sign above the entrance to the Oracle at Delphi famously read ‘Know Thyself’. Shakespeare wrote ‘To thine own self be true’. And whichever way we look at this, this remains timeless advice. Being authentic and being ourselves is not only necessary for our happiness it is also the most important soul evolutionary work we can undertake.
By knowing ourselves, we then understand exactly what it is we need (as opposed to what we think we want) to live our best, happiest, more creative, rich and abundant lives on every level. Not only that, the soul freedom we create for ourselves not only frees us, but it frees everyone we come into contact with as we are no longer interested in wasting our time and energy – or theirs, on something that doesn’t serve our greater good.
We when know ourselves, we are unafraid to be ourselves or to show others what we really think or feel. Other people’s judgements don’t concern us the way they used to but a funny thing starts to happen. Once we become more open more and more people start responding in kind. Our relationships even with acquaintances, improve and deepen. So, where do we start? First by being honest. Are you hiding something behind the official ‘truth’ about the situation? Believe me, this is a trap that’s easier to fall into than you might think! Perhaps you worked long and hard for a job or promotion but now you’ve got it you’ve discovered it’s not what you thought it would be or no longer you but you don’t want to admit this as you’re worried people what people will say. Are you presenting a happy façade that all is well with your marriage or relationship when it’s not? In these days of social media it’s all too easy to start believing our own Facebook status and to use this to create a false perception of what’s really going on in our lives.
Or maybe your job or your relationship is something you just ‘slid’ into before you started thinking about what you really needed? It really doesn’t make you happy but you feel it will cause you and others too much pain to admit that.
If you are unsure even how to begin what I recommend is a Soul Audit. Your intuition is ‘gut’ feelings are never wrong. Write down your feelings about every area of your life right now. Your job, your relationship status (whether you are in one or not), your home – anything and everything. Write down all the emotions you feel when you think about each area – from the positive to the negative. The key to this exercise is discovering how you truly feel about something. If you are listing feeling such as ‘frustration’, ‘trapped’, ‘ambivalent’, ‘drained’, ‘depressed’, ‘exhausted’ then focus on those areas and now list what you would like to be feeling around them instead. Now, what do you need to do to move yourself from the negative side of the feelings spectrum and into the positive? Chances are you are going to have to have conversations with people where you tell them how you really feel – not how they think you may feel.
Don’t necessarily go in thinking that having these conversations means the end of a relationship, friendship or a career. Of course, in certain circumstances a radical shift is going to be necessary to put you back in the right path. But very often, speaking your truth allows everyone concerned to come away with a win/win situation. Our partners, friends or family are not mind-readers no matter how close we are. By being honest you are inviting them to do the same and together you can address any issues and resolve them. Similarly, that ‘dream’ job that is now a nightmare – having a conversation with your boss may result in you being able to reconnect to whatever it was that made you want the job in the first place.
Knowing what you truly want, think and feel means you don’t waste your precious time or anyone else’s by continuing to invest in something that has no future if that is the outcome. So, far from being a selfish or narcissistic act, being true to ourselves is actually an act of kindness and serious, soul-freeing work for both ourselves and everyone concerned.
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