There’s No Wrong Way To Be Yourself

When can fighting our built-in nature do more harm than good?

I recently read an article from The Muse, an online career resource, written by a man named Jerry who is a self-proclaimed introvert. Jerry decided that there was something “wrong” with aspects of his less-than-social personality. So he decided to take the complete opposite route and secured a job where he was required to demonstrate exaggerated social skills. He came up against a whole host of unforeseen problems such as, feeling gravely depressed and experiencing sleep issues. Jerry’s rebellion against his true nature could have eventually cost him his life. Fortunately, he chose to embrace his inner introvert and took actions to set boundaries with “energy vampires” while standing steadfast in the acceptance of his beautiful, solitary and creative self.

I am aware that not all of us have the luxury to choose our path. However, I might challenge others to question their perspective on the matter. Julia Cameron explores synchronicity in The Artist’s Way and states, “Take a small step in the direction of a dream and watch the synchronous doors flying open.” She attributes the same quality to that all-too-familiar statement, “Ask and you shall receive.” This can be applied to something so basic as needing a new couch only to find out that your neighbor down the block is about to donate theirs.

Perhaps, there is a little bit of Jerry inside every one of us. So, we might respond yes to a commitment when we really mean to say no or vice versa. Or, maybe, we decide to choose a career that supports our family but buries our deep, innate desire to be a musician. We might rebel against our deep-seated emotions in order to keep peace. We drink that glass of wine when we know that our liver is begging us not to do so. And, so the mind takes the driver’s seat speeding full-throttle towards the oncoming car that we never saw coming. As a result, we end up exhausted from over-committing, completely stripped of our creative soul, emotions stuffed deep-inside that we cover-up with a drink or two and find ourselves in a hospital bed attached to a heart-monitor while hooked up to an IV drip wondering how we got there.

Often, inner rebellion will reflect outer chaos. Whatever the case, there’s “An inner voice that does not speak,” says Rumi. A voice that is more akin to a gentle whisper or an inner nudging. If we choose to listen, we just might bypass all of the rebelling and wind up comfortably seated on our neighbor’s almost-donated couch, in the comfort of our homes with our beloved families, voicing our opinions, expressing our emotions by playing a soulful tune on the guitar.

Colie Peters resides in New York and sometimes solely in her own quirky mind. She is a dabbler in all things related to health, spirituality, nutrition and aromatherapy. A certified yoga instructor and lover of all things yoga-related. When not in triangle pose, you might find her nose-deep in a compelling book, searching for the latest yet-to-be discovered musician or whispering sweet-nothings to her pet Irish.

Post originally shared on Holstee’s online magazine, Mindful Matter.