Be Authentically You.
We strive to know ourselves, right? To be authentic. I strive for that. In the Scorpion and Frog fable I wrote about once upon a time, the scorpion ended up stinging the frog, despite his promises not to. He was being his authentic self. When the frog asked the scorpion why he did it, he simply responded, “I’m a scorpion; it’s in my nature.”
Hmm…maybe for a scorpion, yes, but for humans? Surely not. That would mean whatever I say is my “nature,” I am pre-programmed to repeat, no matter how ardently I try to change. If that were true, why bother? I mean really, what a great excuse for never changing, for giving up, for not being accountable for anything. And what a sham! (Not to mention depressing.)
Let’s briefly look at the human brain, basic anatomy and physiology stuff: neurons that fire together, wire together. For those who are rusty on their A&P, what that means is the more we train our brains to learn a specific task (think: ride a bike, learn a new language, etc.), the more those neurons will fire. And the more they fire, the more they wire together, hence, a task becomes easier the more we do it. (Donna, are you horrified by my explanation? Yours was MUCH better and more thorough in class!)
Luckily, You Are More Than Your Brain
Human brain aside, now enter Spirit. Enter will. Enter pride. Enter determination — perhaps the determination to NOT be just like your dad, or to BE just like your older brother, or the class clown, or fill in the blank. Enter one of thousands of factors. After considering the infinite possibilities of why we are the way we are, ‘Know thyself’ sounds both complex and nebulous, all at the same time. When I think about it like that, I get lost.
But I don’t like being lost. What I like are words. And I like listening to others’ words, especially when they come bearing beautiful phrases, like my friend Bay often does. So when she said to me, “Leslie, live with your rhythm,” my heart immediately smiled. And in the inner warmth I felt, I knew that a meaningful exchange had just taken place; I had just received a gift.
After my friend and I hung up the phone, I allowed her words to roll around in my head for a few minutes while they made their way to my heart. Live with my rhythm. Live with my rhythm. It felt similar to a heartbeat. Or an inhale, exhale. Strong, steady, and effortless. Like a life force.
Living With My Rhythm has become a personal mantra. It is synonymous with being my authentic self, with knowing myself, and ultimately, loving myself. If my rhythm is sad, so it is. If my rhythm is excited, so it is. If my rhythm is tired, contemplative, hyper, so it is. By living with my rhythm, I take my brain (left brain at least), out of the equation and allow myself to Be. And in being, I feel an intimate connection with self. I feel Trust on a God level that feels like pure love.
What is your rhythm? Close your eyes, breathe in deeply. Inhale. Exhale. Again. Now, slowly, what do you feel? Honor your feelings and breathe through each one as you live your rhythm.
“Intimacy is being seen and known as the person you truly are.” ~ Amy Bloom
(especially, when being seen by yourself)