The true meaning of being who you are
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare of compete, everybody will respect you.” – Lao Tzu
How many times a day do you adjust your behavior in trying to please an (imaginable) other? I know there is an overabundance of articles, books and speakers about the importance of being yourself and knowing who you are. And here I create another text about it. Why?
A couple of weeks ago I was in a conversation with Rudy Brouwer about the start of ‘Huis van Verbinding’ (House of Connection). In helping him with the concept, going both deeper and wider, many beautiful ideas and insights came through my mind and heart. The ‘Huis van Verbinding’ is a place where you can experience how it is to be who you are. Going through the goal and concept, one essential question suddenly struck me – how do you recognize that you are truly being who you are? When are you ‘there’? Or, turned around, how do you know when you are not being who you are? I heard myself popping these questions and I felt my whole being searching for the answer.
At the very end of our conversation the answer came to me as sudden as the questions: I know that I am 100% me when I don’t have any thoughts about what others think of me and I don’t change my behavior accordingly. I became aware of how often I’m busy changing and adapting who I am to live up to (imaginable) expectations from others, from society. Without thoughts about how I sit, what I say or how I look I am totally free. I can relax. I am comfortable in any situation with any person. In the moment I realized this I got a glimse of pure freedom and my body could let go of all tensions. If letting these thoughts go – imagine how much capacity and time that can be invested in doing what really matters!
This is why I’m writing another text about being who you truly are. Because I have felt, if only for a short while, and realized what it would really mean to me. And I wonder, after reading and hearing so much about being yourself – have you understood what it really means?Photo thanks to Iker Cortabarria via Flickr.