02 Apr The Two Sides Of Being Yourself
This year I’m writing a book about being yourself. It’s not just about being yourself, but in particular, the two sides of being yourself.
Have you ever noticed that there’s this side of you that’s truly unique and yet at the same time a side of you that isn’t unique at all? A side of you that is almost like machinery, reacting to fears and emotions and in need of mastering?
Well, I have!
Let me describe two situations that made me aware of my uniqueness and also my lack of uniqueness.
Situation 1: I’m a university student. I’m walking in the courtyard shaded by palm trees at my university. In my hand is the report from a personality assessment I’d just taken. I’m walking and reading. Using scientific terms, it essentially tells me I am completely unique. Getting specific, it describes this certain thing that I’d always known to be true about myself but never put words to nor thought to be unique. I lower the paper from my face, an aha moment upon me, and stare into middle space. You mean not everyone is wired this way?
Situation 2: I’m a woman. My alarm clock goes off for early morning water polo practice. My emotions are torturing me. It’s one of those days in my career as a professional athlete where I’m certain everything’s going to hell, and I’m not sure I’ll make it out of bed. Fast forward four hours later: I’m giggling with my teammates in the pool after practice. We’re being childish; it’s amazing. I become reflective for a moment, realizing how happy I feel, and yet remembering how terrible I felt just hours before. I ponder about psychology and mastery of emotions – there’s got to be some sort of human formula to this! – before playfully latching onto my teammates back as she tows me to the side.
If we look at the ways I felt, – You mean not everyone is wired this way? and There’s got to be some sort of human formula to this! – it’s almost like I was drawing opposite conclusions. In one situation I’m present to the fact that I’m completely unique and in another situation I’m present to the fact that there’s a part of me that needs to be mastered, figured out, as if it’s a generic component of the human machine.
Which is the sort of theme of the book I’m writing. In this day and age, where there is propulsion toward doing what you love, being yourself and following your desires, I say YESSS!!! But I say YESSS AND!!! It’s one thing to discover what it means to be yourself and it’s another to understand there is a part of every human being that is hardly unique at all, that needs to be understood and mastered in order for us to truly step into living our best lives.
In the comments below, let me know if you’ve experienced the two sides of being yourself? Do share!