Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being substitute teacher for the developmental students. And let me tell you, it was the most authentic experience I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of. It reminded me of being with my 3 year old only they’re minds are more marture. So indeed, it was a very different experience.
The reason that being in the class appealed to me so much is because I’m reading the book, If the Buddha Dated: a guide for finding love on a spiritual journey. In order to have an authentic love relationship, you must be authentically yourself. . .All that you are. This is the theme throughout the book. It mentions there are things that we do when we are in a romantic relationship including, blaming others, donning masks, and feeling incomplete.
I can admit that I am the qween of donning masks; a learned behavior I’ve used primarily as a method of protection. But in doing such things, we sow seeds of mistrust and deceit within our relationships.
The ability to feel completely comfortable being my authentic self is important to me. Unfortunately, I struggle with this, but I never lie about who I am. That is definitely not my style. However, I am guilty of being phony by omission. That is, not revealing all parts of the whole of who I am. Sometimes it is intentional and other times because I may be unaware or in denial; a very real possibility. Whenever I do this, I recognize that it comes from a place of fear; fear of judgment, exclusion, and rejection. Rejection makes me feel like something is wrong with me particularly when others act as if my personal characteristics and preferences are things that need to be fixed.
I don’t like when people question and attempt to pick apart my beingness.
Just let me Be.
I’ve learned that that does not require the approval of anyone.I now know not to take it personally.
Yet, I still find it not so easy to make the transition back to being my authentic self. So my question to the Universe was, how. How do I do this?
As I watched those children interacting with one another, with their teachers, and with me, I knew immediately my question was being answered. They were authentically being themselves from their mannerisms, to their behavior, and even their bodily functions 😅. It’s crazy how we try to hide even the most instinctive, involuntary parts of who we are. I intentionally avoided use of the word “natural” just cause all of who we are (whether we choose it or not) is natural.
Those kids were simply being who they are without considering whether anyone else might approve. And one might argue that it’s because they don’t realize they could consider what other people think and perhaps even that is for the best. It occurred to me that there are obviously things about them that they cannot hide, not even by omission. And if you tried to convince them they should, they certainly would not understand why. And they’d probably throw a tantrum. I know I’m guilty of the occasional tantrum
People can be cruel and judgemental. If only we’d keep in mind that such things also rise from a place of fear, we’d show even those individuals some compassion. Easier said than done, especially for me. 😩