by Jonathan Hilton
Do you know your authentic self?
I have had pause to ask myself that question for a long time now. Let me tell you what I think. Each one of us is born with a unique and amazing talent or skill that is ours and ours alone. It is given to us at birth and we need only to follow it to find our purpose in life.
Life isn’t ever that easy though. From the moment we come into the world we are met with limits and expectations from others.
Sometimes the limits come from a place of love, like a parent guiding their child safely, and sometimes they come from a much darker experience.
It matters little where the limits come from, they cause us to be ashamed of who we are and what talent we have. It is because of an underlying fear of the rejection of the talent by those who see it.
These are the would have’s and should have’s of life that make you shy away from your true self, to pretend to be something that is more acceptable. Some who experience abuse early on never really get to see their authentic selves, which makes it much harder to find.
Looking For Me
I have been hot on the trail of my authentic self for much of the past several years. It has been a slow and sometimes scary chase. It all began several years ago and has taken me to several different jobs and practices.
It all began when I realized that I didn’t know much about life that was useful. I was not really happy, and like many people hadn’t been really happy in a long time. There had been moments of extreme happiness, and I enjoyed people but the inner feeling of fulfillment escaped me. I had resigned myself to think that this was how you felt in life, kind of empty and bored.
Just waiting for the clock to run out. Life had other thoughts. Events reminded me that I wasn’t always this way. Dreams were a vital part of my youth, my imagination guided me in almost every adventure I had every day. I dreamed of everything from playing for the Red Sox to racing horses.
I believed that everything that I thought of could actually happen, and it was just a matter of getting a little older for me to do all of those things. That person was my authentic self, the true me. I was gifted with the ability to dream, vividly and it seemed life was determined to make me forget that.
The Cover Up
Until finally as I got older they were totally forgotten, neglected and abandoned. I was an adult and there is no place for dreaming in adulthood.
It was like knowing a secret that you just couldn’t remember, but you knew it was a good thing and if you could just connect with it then all would be well.
Life however moves in and the job, the relationships, the expectations, all move on top of you and push that authentic identity far back into your memory and may never let it out. Like you are asleep and can’t wake up.
I started to remember piece by piece and it is still coming back to me. Like waking from a slumber, you start to experience life a bit differently.
Each of us is born with an authentic self that has abilities that are meant for us alone. Some people are true to them their whole life, and some others never see their authentic self again.
I think most people spend their early life forgetting and the second part of their life trying to remember. It doesn’t matter who you are or what age you are, there is a unique person inside of you that is mere alarm clock ringing from waking up.