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Be Yourself

Be Yourself

When you are little your parents won’t let you be yourself. They have different ideas about eating the whole chocolate cake or drawing on the walls with crayons. Later on teachers keep you from being yourself. Then teenage peer pressure takes over, and finally, once society has imposed its demands, freedom is more restricted still. Alone on a desert island you might be able to be yourself, only guilt and shame would pursue you even there. The inheritance of repression is inescapable.

The whole problem is one of boundaries and resistance. Someone imposes a limit on you, and you resist it in order to break free. Thus “being myself” becomes a relative thing. Unless someone tells me what I can’t do, I have nothing to push against. By implication, my life would be shapeless. I would follow one whim after another, which itself is a kind of prison. To have a hundred wives and a feast on the table isn’t being yourself, it is being your desires.

When boundaries and resistance both melt the problem comes to an end. To be in unity, you cannot have limitations. You are wholeness; that is what fills your perception. Choice A and choice B are equal in your eyes. When this is true, desire can flow where it will. You are not your desires. Being yourself no longer has the slightest outside reference.

Doesn’t this deprive you of choice? Both yes and no. A person will want to dress and talk a certain way; there may even be decided likes and dislikes. Yet these are karmic holdovers from the past. All and Nothing doesn’t erase the necessities of this world, and in fact the great mystics do preserve the trappings of ordinary life.

To be really free, there is no option except to be yourself. By being yourself you open the door to what is, the never-ending play of cosmic intelligence curving back to know itself again and again.

Adapted from How To Know God, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2000).

Read more: Deepak Chopra's Tips, Spirit, , ,

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

70 comments

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5:27PM PDT on Sep 21, 2012

Thanks for the insight. Always trying to be my self.....

1:21PM PDT on Aug 22, 2011

"This above all; to thine own self be true." -- Shakespeare

9:59AM PDT on Apr 5, 2010

Isn't this the most gracious gift Life has given us ? To just be who you really are, without the need to worry or behave to what others percieve you to be. Then to allow this self created fact to guide your path to your own purpose to manifest.

1:00AM PDT on Mar 21, 2010

Its a great article and I agree that it is a pity that the majority of human beings find out so late in life.......

6:09AM PDT on Mar 20, 2010

thank you

1:43AM PDT on Mar 19, 2010

be your self, be your true self, the one who lives by following the voice of their heart.. :)

12:26PM PDT on Mar 18, 2010

This is the reason I am taking psychology so that I can teach children how to be themselves while still having enough structure and balance to get them through the tough times in life. It took me til age 33 to finally break free of the guilt of trying to be myself. I think parents should provide the structure and teachers should allow more space for children to be individuals. I feel school was were my creativity was stamped down until I believed I wasn't creative at all. Now that I understand that I plan to help the children and adults that haven't learned to be themselves yet.

2:47AM PDT on Mar 18, 2010

I'm so glad I'm not the only one that has taken a long time! My 'aha!' moment was in realising that I don't need other people to feel loved, that all the things I've been searching for are to be found elsewhere. I realised that I have chased affirmation all my life and that it is the most elusive of components and a source of power for others who see it. All we desire from others, falls in the category of rentals! People instinctively know your needs and will try and control you by doling out or denying what you seek to keep you in check. Big 'Aha' moment for me! God Bless!

10:26PM PDT on Mar 17, 2010

I hear, "It must be wonderful to be so tall (or slender)." And brown eyes w. fair skin. With a head full of thick, dark curls, I'd be a brown-eyed, contemporary answer to Jane Morris.

Slender can be painful. Try choosing dress shoes when your feet are bones and sinews. It took years to sort out what was wrong -- thank God I live where I do! -- and to adapt diet and exercise.

And thank God for "Star Trek" and "Doctor Who" fandoms! What a friendly bunch of people. I try not to glare when they wonder at my slender form.

4:00PM PDT on Mar 17, 2010

My dog is the only living being who accepts me for what I am - a 65 years old "hippy"!

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