Wild Sage & Co.
|Posted on 7 May, 2016 at 0:20|
Do you ever wonder who you were..... before everyone else told you who to be? What were your natural instincts of who to be, how to play, what to do in the world before other people inserted their rules, their opinions, and the "shoulds" of their world onto you?
I'm not talking about rules of common sense; like safety rules around fire, traffic, or running with scissors. I'm not talking about social rules of common courtesy; like being considerate of others in public places, and respectful of public authority like teachers and law officials. I'm talking about the things you wanted to do, the calls you wanted to answer that felt natural to you, that got stifled along the way.
When I was in third grade three kids in my class (2 boys and 1 girl) knew at the age of 8 that they were going to grow up to be doctors. Every one of them did that. As I grew older I knew others in high school who knew that music was the only thing in their lives that mattered, that fed them, that was their constant star. I still know many of them and yes, they are still committed and active in making music. I always envied both the doctors and musicians because they knew, they always KNEW who they were and they remained true to themselves. No one was permitted to deter them.
It is predictable that the doctors may have had more support for their dreams than the musicians. Being a doctor does carry a certain status, gravitas, and maturity. It sounds like a real grown-up thing to do in the world. A parent is usually proud to say "My child is a doctor." When I was growing up, however, there wasn't quite so much parental pride in a musician. Mostly because, in their world, "You can't make a living doing that." There were a few exceptions made for violin prodigies and piano vertuosos. But for those who played for the love of playing - especially if it was "that noise" in a garage band on Saturday night..... parents were usually tolerant of the "hobby", but I suspect that some of those musicians allowed the food for their soul to die on the vine and they learned to live without it.
A wise person recently said to me "We forget who we are." I immediately flashed back to being 14 years old when I wanted to change the dress code in junior high school and I crafted a letter to the Powers That Be. I wanted the letter to be taken seriously by the administration, so I wrote a thoughtful and respectful letter, not a petition. I came up with half a dozen names of students who were leaders in things like student government to sign the letter with me. When I finished it, I took the letter to my father to review and check for spelling, grammar, clarity - to be sure it was a sound letter to send.
He read it carefully and said "The letter is fine. It's clear and well-written. But ..... I don't know that you're the one to do this." I think he said more words after that, but I don't remember them. All I remember is "You're not the one." Those probably weren't his actual words, but that's how it lives for my 14 year old self. I thanked him for reading it, I put the letter away, and I never did anything else with it. I didn't even give it to anyone else to take forward, because I wasn't the one.
It's important to understand my father wasn't being unkind in his comment. There was nothing belittling or derogatory about it. He was genuinely questioning my "authority" in the school system to question policy and to lead others, the recognized student leaders, in doing so. To him leaders are appointed, elected, assigned, ranked, and at least acknowledged by the population. They do not proclaim themselves and question the policies of those who are in power. There is protocol, there are channels. In his world view that's why we have leaders, to do those things for us.
"We forget who we are." Immediately on the heels of that memory, I remembered me 4 years earlier in grade school. I was a leader. I was involved. I only asked for parental consent when the school needed it, but in the classroom I was a rock star. I was smart, I was talented, I felt well-liked. I didn't hide out. I asked the teacher when I wanted to do things, even when what I wanted to do wasn't on the list of choices. No wonder I loved school then. I was able to express who I was and it was appreciated and rewarded like no place else.
"We forget who we are." I went to a new church two weeks ago and watched as two women came forward to read scripture during the service. A high school flashback of growing up in church services where men from the congregation read scripture each week on a rotating schedule. When I was 16 I went to the man in charge of the schedule and asked him politely "Is there anything that says a man has to read those scriptures?" He looked a tiny bit surprised, but said "No, I don't think so." I said, "Ok, can I do that? Can you put me on the schedule to do that?" He agreed. It wasn't a "rule". It was simply assumed and unrequested. It was 1971. I was the first teenager and the first woman to be a reader in that church.
It's interesting to me that while I did ask if it "had to be" a man who read, it felt completely natural for me to request that position. It was something I liked to do, I knew I could do well and it was a contribution I could make. It didn't occur to me that I was breaking new ground in the process. That I was, in fact, the one to question what appeared to be policy. That I was, in fact, the one to lead the way for other women and teens to read as well. Perhaps Divine Intervention gently whispered in my ear and reminded me of who I am to find my way around my father's world view on this one.
In remembering, I don't think he told me absolutely not to send the letter. But, in that moment, in what turned out to be a vulnerable, teaching moment, I allowed his belief system to quelch and temper my own. As a result at school, I was one of the general crowd; neither a leader nor a rebel. As a result in my Life, I became the best #2 person in the world. No matter what jobs I've had over the years, I turned it into being the very best administrative assistant my employers ever had; you know, the power behind the throne. For many years I allowed my father's guiding view of his world to overshadow my natural instincts and talents to be the leader in my world. Thankfully, it's never too late to reclaim your Self.
So... from my leader chair, I ask you to please Remember Who You Are.
Remember who you are in your truest self, when you think no one is watching or can hear what you're thinking. If you honestly and vulnerably peer into your Soul, are you feeding it with what matters most to you? Are you feeding your Soul with your most satisfying and your favorite - not your best, but your favorite contribution to your world? Are you doing it in a way that best aligns with you? Are you BEING your Divine magic powers and gifts in your world for good, for your own best good and for others? Or are you, to use an old adage, "hiding your Light under a bushel"? Your Light serves no one there.
Remember who you are, feed your Soul, and express yourself joyfully in your world.
My favorite quote:
"To thine own self be true,
and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not be then false to any man."
With Aloha Love & Blessings,