I have been putting pressure on myself to appear more
professional, polished-over, and perfect than I really am. I’ve been doing this
through my writing and through in-person interactions with people.
The way through this is not merely to accept my mistakes and fallibility as a human, but to embrace my own spirit.
When I try to answer to something external to myself, I stumble over my words and hold back my message and wish other people would go away. On the other hand, when I remember the soul that surrounds me, I am okay with myself. There’s no need to make an effort at self-acceptance—it just is there, naturally.
This is a state of being I call realness. This is where the name of my website, Living a Real Life, comes from. It was upon experiencing this state of being for the first time three and a half years ago that my psychological battles with myself (i.e. severe depression) ended. That was the first time that I truly felt alive, as if I had never been able to breathe a complete breath up to that point in my life. That was also the first time I had ever chosen to accept myself as I was in any given moment, instead of beating myself up for being upset, which is what I always did, and which made me even more upset. So, it seems that once I make the choice to accept myself, self-acceptance then becomes a given, via the state of being that is “realness.”
I would say that I spend most of my time not in this state of “realness.” I feel that what prevents it is anxiousness—that is, a need to get on to the next thing. Even if it’s a low-level anxiousness, and not outright anxiety, it is still unpleasant and definitely not me at my best. From that state of low-level anxiousness I sometimes make rash decisions, either doing something I later regret or failing to do something which likewise ends up in regret. In general, errors of commission (doing something wrong) aren’t as painful as errors of omission (not doing anything at all), but both have their pains nonetheless.
I can see that from a state of realness, all of this mistake-making isn’t such a big deal. This is because a calm self-certainty is central to the state of realness. If I make an error of commission, I know I have the internal resources to ameliorate the situation, if and as needed. Natural to the state of realness is feeling at home in, and therefore allied with, the universe. In turn, this means that fear and worry about the external world are unnecessary. No matter how bad things have gotten, the world has yet to come crashing down around me. I think that I do not have to worry about the world. We will both be okay.
Again, it’s that need to get on to the next thing that creates anxiousness and a fearful uncertainty about the future of my well-being. When I instead don’t need to get to that next thing just yet, and choose to be with this thing first and do it well, I’m able to do the next thing that much better when it comes, too.
I wish that I could bottle up the vibe of realness and send it off to share it with people, so that they can actually experience it directly and completely understand what I’m saying. This state of being of realness is really different from trying to be “spiritual.” When I try to be spiritual I get all analytical about my actions and imagine I have to be this perfect saint. On the other hand, when I recognize and appreciate my own spirit, rather than attempt to be spiritual, I’m at my best as a human. At the same time, there’s no anxious need to be my best. It just is that way. From the so-called “spiritual” perspective I often try to be my best all day long, and do nothing but fail. But when I simply look at the spirit around me, my state of being becomes one that I normally can’t imagine, it’s so darned good.
There is no deep “tuning in” process, either. That’s the irony of the whole thing. From the “spiritual” state of mind I think I have to do this uber-long, super-perfect meditation in order to be my absolute best, star-studded self. Of course, it’s rare that I actually see my spirit when I go through that process.
Your soul isn’t within you—it exists all around you. Your soul surrounds your body and extends out in all directions forever, unbound by space and time. When you simply remember that that field surrounds you right now, and in every moment, you’ll feel your heart wake up, and a smile will cross your face. If angels start to sing, it will be the angels inside of you.
Of course, those angels are tricky. The way to wake them up isn’t through ornate rituals or grand acts of self-sacrifice or anything of the sort. The way to do it is to see that the field around you is already beautiful, and that is enough.
But even that isn’t done by forcing yourself to see the beauty or articulating that sentence in your head over and over again. Realness is a very subtle feeling, and it is simultaneously the most powerful force I have ever known within myself. I have managed to summon it at what seemed to be some of the lowest moments of my life, and also when things are going just fine. Even in moments of sickness or sadness, it can be there—and it has been. And when that state of realness comes through me, whatever hurts I am having at the time go away.
Our True Home
Again, I wish it was easier to convey this to you. The state of realness is really nothing spectacular. But at the same time it is ridiculously powerful. Its power lies in its chill-attitude and its subtlety. When I’m in this state I can be getting called out for something stupid I did and feel no anger towards the other person nor need to argue (and definitely not to win an argument).
The thing is, this state is so subtle it easily gets washed away in the troubles of life. And it often does.
Whenever I do remember the state of realness, I think, Oh my God—this is what I have been wanting all along, this simple state of being. How could I have forgotten it?
It’s like having an old friend come up from behind me and place an arm around my shoulder. Then when I look and see who it is, I can only be both comforted and elated.
It’s like coming home again—to my true home, that I can live in no matter where I go. It can’t get washed out by rain or broken in half by lightning or burnt down with fire, either. It exists impenetrable and indestructible. And, simultaneously, it is a soft force. Perhaps that’s where its indestructibility comes from.
I suppose the best way I can convey this state of being to people is to be in it, and speak and act from there.
If I come up with a great way of (a) explaining the state of realness, and (b) tapping into it, I will let you know. That might just be a lifelong process. :)
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