But I don’t. Who’s to judge our actions? Who’s to determine what’s right or wrong? Who’s to say what “one” should our shouldn’t do? In the end it all comes down to choice. The choices each and every one of us is making on a daily basis.
Societies all over the world keep a balance of “appropriateness” by defining the shoulds of our daily interactions. But what if you and me would get up every morning and step into complete self-responsibility? For our thoughts, for our actions and for our lives? Approaching life like a blank canvas every day! I can only imagine what could be if we dropped all our internal and external shoulds. My imagination is a wild one though. I see a visionary and authentic world, one of shared responsibilities but also shared joy and true connections among people.
We spend years and years (some people even their entire lives) to craft and color our masks that keep us “safe” in a picture perfect world. They fit perfectly like a second skin and they sure look good from the outside. But what’s to be protected? And what’s really at stake if you keep up this masked version of yourself? Your identity? Your authenticity? Your freedom? Your choice? Your self-determination? Your life? I don’t know your answer to this question but I do know mine: I am giving up my illusions. This is an unpleasant truth. But it is the truth. My truth. And that’s the only one that matters to me. You might have a different truth and that should be the only one that matters to you.
Did you even notice the should in this last sentence? I didn’t until I reread it. Was I tempted to rephrase? Oh yes! But then I realized that would just be proving to myself that I am listening to my own self-imposed shoulds…I chose my own truth instead because I really believe that each and every one of us has the right and freedom to give the highest priority to our individual truth. Holding that belief creates a should in my mind. Whether or not anybody else accepts or challenges my should is a matter of choice again. But who am I to determine if this is not just another illusion?
Writing this fills me with excitement and frustration at the same time. A deep longing and yearning for truth and authenticity is driving me to put into words what’s been on my mind for quite a while. But it makes me really sad to see how many people are caught up in their self-constructed illusions – including myself – missing out on a big part of life. Thinking about this, an image of a safety net comes up for me…but when I take a closer look I realize it’s not just a net, it’s a box. Sure, it will keep you from falling down but it will also hold you back from jumping. Only you can be the judge for yourself: Do I choose safety and very limited flexibility over my freedom of choice, authenticity and true self-expression?
For the past few weeks I’ve been very determined to explore, find and speak my own truth. It’s tough! And I fail. A lot. But I also celebrate successes along the way. My illusionary truth shatters bit by bit but I am creating a new one every day, which fills me with joy and sadness. And I love this wild mixture of emotions and feelings. It challenges me to leave my comfort zone but this is where insight and growth can happen. I come across shadows, loyal soldiers, fears, insecurities and illusions – concerning myself, others and the world. It is a challenge – sometimes a very painful one. But after all it is my truth. And I choose to look at it. Completely unprotected but yet so safe in my own authenticity.
How strange when an illusion dies. It’s as though you’ve lost a child.