I am discovering it’s enough to be me.
I mean, what else can I be?
Wait! Don’t answer that! It seems obvious. But it’s a trick question.
Beyond those first precious months of life here on this earth when our eyes shine with the light of Who We Truly Are and we laugh and cry, rage and sleep, coo adorably and poop our pants with impunity with no corrections, no admonishments, no requirements to be or do something different, when have I ever been allowed to just express me? When have you been allowed to just express you?
Haven’t we lived the intermingling decades trying to be everything BUT who we really are?
An obedient child.
A good student.
A thin, rich, sexy, responsible adult.
A faithful spouse.
A responsible parent, employee, boss.
A good citizen.
A spiritual being.
A loving grandparent.
A self-reliant elder who’s put enough away in a 401-k to pay for a nursing home.
A tidy corpse who took care of funeral expenses ahead of time.
And we call that living? No wonder we spend the rest of our lives trying to find ourselves.
I remember, a long time ago, reading Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic written by Osho. He talked about how he was given to his grandparents to raise because his parents were too poor to support another child. How, living in the countryside, he was allowed to run free, unanswerable to any authority, unencumbered by any responsibilities. He didn’t have to eat or go to school, take out the garbage, wear clothes or obey his grandparents. He wasn’t directed in any way or held accountable for anything.
As I read, I remember thinking, “What a selfish little bastard! I’d have tanned his hide good for acting that way!”
And yet I was also filled with curiosity. What would it have been like to grow up that way? Doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, with no rules, regulations or expectations? Who would I have become?
Certainly not the disgruntled, judgmental adult reading Osho’s life story.
I read as he described his dirty, naked, 12-year-old self, arguing theology with the priests in the temples. At 21 he declared himself enlightened and spent the rest of his life teaching, writing and lecturing globally, publishing over 600 books, impacting the lives of thousands with this core message:
“You cannot pursue what you already have.”
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It’s not easy accepting that I am enough just as I am, sitting here breathing, alive, senses open to the world around me, heart beating, dancing to an invisible inner flame.
It’s hard to accept that I don’t have to do, accomplish or prove something — that I don’t have to match some arbitrary image some arbitrary human at some arbitrary point in history declared was the “IT” I’m supposed to be.
I already am.
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And just in case there’s any lingering doubt about Who You Really Are, here’s a lovely little trick to get in touch with that which you cannot pursue, taught me by a Hawaiian elder:
Smile and take a deep calm breath.
Keep smiling and take three more deep calm breaths.
The feeling of sweetness that keeps the smile on your lips afterwards is you expressing you