‘To be or not to be. That is the question’
How many of us can just be ourselves? Much of the time is spent trying to be what others want us to be; the perfect mother/father, the perfect son/daughter, brother/sister, or husband/wife. The expectations others place on us are their image of what they expect us to be and this can be a selfish image. More often than not we cannot live up to it even if we try. And most of us do try and in the process negate ourselves.
This is why when sons and daughters leave the family home or brother and sisters drift away or mothers and fathers die or the husband or wife deserts the other, we feel at odds with the world. We have forgotten who we are, why we are and where we are going. We seem to be without purpose and are lost. It can be very difficult to adjust, although with a philosophy; a religion, a devotion to the Divine, which is sincere, we can have our security. If we are going to lose ‘ourselves’ it should be in devotion to an ideal.
There are other considerations when we view the question above. Some seem afraid to be themselves so they play a part. Children can do this very well, one day he/she can be Andy Pandy, the next the Lone Ranger. The child in each of us might also play a part. This can be a danger as one enters a different world and its not always easy to come back from it. There is also the world of daydreams, living in a permanent fantasy. Maybe we are a person who talks too much, hiding ourselves away behind words, or in talking, trying always to appear clever when underneath we feel insecure and unwanted.
The real need is to know and understand ourselves on every level. We shouldn’t be afraid of being alone, of being quiet, of feeling unloved or unrecognised. We shouldn’t be afraid being ourselves. There is a power beyond all of us, the source of all life, love and comfort, which is Divine. When we can be ourselves, when we can enjoy being quiet, when we are not being demanded of, when we sit in meditation, we realise that we are never alone. That power, the Source of all life is omnipresent, always with us. It (for want of another word) loves us, It must as It gave birth to us and It will care for us just like a caring ideal mother/father would, allowing us freedom to live, learn and grow. It recognises our talents and encourages us in them.
The latter can only happen if we are true to ourselves, if we can be ourselves. This does not mean being selfish, in fact, just the opposite. Rather it means that we are not pretending anymore, and the rubbish that was covering our true nature has been removed.
It can take some time to clear the rubbish and there are many ways to do this. One way is to meditate which helps to shed light. Meditation helps us to see and understand. Firstly though we have to recognise the need. Then we must have the courage to do something about it.
Blessings, Satchidananda Ma