The art of being yourself
For over a month I have been investigating the question which emerged from a simple online test: just because I know myself very well (my body, my mind and my soul) do I actually like myself too? It took me a while. It actually took me longer because my life is like a river – flooding me from all directions and I often can pretty much hardly catch my breath nowadays. And it was that very metaphor that helped me find the answer to my question.
My philosophical enquiries usually take time but thanks to the social web very often are also fast-tracked by content I stumble upon in my social streams, because I have given all the online algorithms enough to be served with the relevant stuff in return. I started seeing James Bay’s music in my feeds. OK, you would say, he is a bit of a celebrity at the moment. But I started seeing less known songs. I am also not a fan of celebrities. So last night I decided to take a hot bath and listen to his music. I did so after a little online research – checking out his YouTube channel, interviews, social comments and the like. What I got so far was an image of a man who stands his ground in a manner steady enough to avoid styling too much – in each and every video he becomes more of himself. In each and every song the meanings collide – one can someone guess the origins of his lyrics but the truth is: I can relate to each song in my very own way. And I suspect many other listeners can do the same.
So last night, in my very hot bath, next to my lovely candle, I have almost collapsed into my very deep, own self-listening to James Bay. I could not realise why I like him so much until I noticed something: I can related to what I have discovered of him: integrity, shine in his own kind and actions, uniqueness and steady, strong presence. I used to feel like that about myself. But then I thought: I AM feeling like that about myself now too. I am fully aware of my faults and mistakes, but I am also extremely familiar with my gifts, experiences, strengths and battles I have won so far. Then I thought of love. I have experienced so many types of love…me loving and me being loved. But…but there is one way I love and I am being loved which is pure, unconditional, unrestricted by life, people and all of this world: it is my love for my son and his love for me. Only a mother can understand the extent of that feeling (no offence, gentlemen, I think it’s simple down to the idea of giving life out of our own body that this bond is so strong).
So, if this is the measurement of real love – I thought – can I, do I love myself in the very same way? I am glad to admit that my conclusion was a yes. Yes, I do. But the problem still exists – for over ten years I have forgotten about that love all together. Normally realisation like that would make me very sad – last night it didn’t.
I have found a long lost friend. Me. I have remembered.
I have found a long lost lover. Me. I have remembered.
I have found a long lost soulmate. Me. I have remembered.
So today I do not regret those ten years because I have experienced clarity in what made me forget. I know now that my heart was never broken, it was lost, forgotten. I have spent last three years building safety net and walls around me because I was hurt, I suffered, I was often overwhelmed with life but also because I have realised that my purpose is to help people and with this level of vulnerability and lack of resilience I might be very bad at it.
People came and went.
Life got in the way too.
For the last few weeks I started feeling the need to share my daily struggles and my ways of dealing with those…but I didn’t write. I could not find a centre – a starting point. Because I forgot the starting point. And I do not think writing is good if it originates from marginal areas of life. Forgive me, this post is getting long so here is what I have learned:
We don’t loose our centre, our heart – we forget it; we don’t suffer – we turn a blind eye on happiness which is here, all the time; we don’t manage life – we allow it get in the way.
Today I have found a lady who sums it all up in a more witty, extremely intelligent and linguistically superb manner, so just before you classify this post as narcissist (or label it with another currently trendy word), please listen to her and afterwards grab a glass of wine, light a candle, run a hot bath and enjoy being yourself listening to an artists who reminds you who you truly are. That’s what good art is all about – reminding us about the central truths.
Thank you, thank you for reading.