Ageless-The True Self

It is time to re-evaluate my Universe list.  Actually, I re-evaluate my life frequently.  I am finding that as time goes by, I change with it.  The person I am today is not even a shadow of the person I was when I was a child.   What amazes me is despite aging, I “feel” like I did when I was 16.  By feel, I mean, at my very core, my soul age, the true self hasn’t aged at all.  My body feels every minute, every step, and every night of lost sleep overtime.  There are even days when my body feels much older than my chronological age.  But I marvel at  how ageless the soul is.

I believe that our soul is ageless.  I believe that no matter how old our body gets, we, the true self,  remains just as we did in the spirit world before coming down here.  I think that our body effects that experience and places limits on our ability to function with that full knowledge.  But I believe that the true self is always there, always the same, and remains the same even in the afterlife.  As a child in a child’s body, we are unable to articulate and function as the true self.  The body’s inability to function at that advanced level due to age related limitations which must be learned from and overcome over time,  masks the true self.  It is our experience and the lessons learned throughout our life that creates spiritual, emotional, and physical growth and changes the true self ever so slightly.  However, even with the growth and understanding gained about ourselves and our fellow-man, the core self remains intact… though affected by our journey.

Every once in a while I have a glimpse of that True Self.  For a fleeting moment I am that young woman in my mind.  That person is my core self.  For a moment I can feel her youth, her intensity, her humor, her impishness.  For a moment she pops up to let me know she is still there…reminding me of who I really am before the pain and suffering and disappointment colored my perceptions and robbed the innocent joy from my life…a time before responsibility and demands, and the burdens of life weighed me down.

Even as a child, she was there…just waiting in the wings for an opportunity to approach.  Despite the abuse she was there, crying for my pain, nurturing me, helping me through the tough times.  I have had to get to know this person, this true self over time.  She is the flame of passion, the creative spirit, the girl running barefoot through dew-kissed grass.  She is the true self dancing down the grocery aisle to music on an MP3 player.  She is the true self who lays in the grass and looks up at the stars in wonder.  She is that part of me who rebels at unfairness.  She is the part of me that feels other people’s pain.  She is the butterfly in me that shrivels amidst chaos and discord.  She is that spark of creativity that draws me to write, to paint, to try to create harmony and beauty around me.  She is the true self and cannot be ignored.

If we are unhappy, it is because the true self is unhappy.  It is because we are not honoring the true self.  It is because we have painted ourselves into emotional, spiritual, and physical corners by the choices we have made in our life.  Unhappiness is a wake-up call.  It does not mean that we blame others.  It means that we must get in touch with our True Self and figure out who we really are and what makes us really happy.  Then we have to do something about it.

The Universe List is an opportunity to put down on paper our soul’s desire.  It is not a time to ask to win the lottery, (though you certainly can), or for a yacht, (though it may well make its way to your list).  It is a time to figure out what truly makes you happy.  If you had no money worries and could do anything you wanted to do with the rest of your life, what would that be?  If you had 2 years to live, how would you spend that time?    Once you figure it out, you have the beginnings of a great Universe List.  Mine has changed several times since I first made it.  In fact, it is now about 1/3 the size it started as.  Because I have found that those things I thought were important just aren’t anymore.

My first list was a study in “fixing” everyone and everything.  There was little on my list for me.  I wanted to help my children.  I wanted to help my grandchildren.  I wanted to help everyone.  If I could only win the lottery, well, I could to it all.  But, looking at the list now, I ask myself, “what about me?”  Don’t I matter?  That is when I realized that all my life had been to meet the needs of others to the point where when I would go shopping I would come home with my arms loaded with gifts for others, but not one for me.  I spent my life giving and never asking.  I spent my life fixing, but resenting it because no one seemed to give back.  I spent my life feeling like I had to jump through hoops.  If I just jumped higher, they would love me.  If I just gave them more, they would love me.  If I just…. I would be loved.

I have had to learn to love myself first.  This was a hard one.  It felt selfish.  It felt unnatural.  It felt…selfish.  That is the only way I can explain it.  Selfish.  Isn’t selfish a bad thing?  It can be, but done for the right reasons it is tremendously good.  Self-sacrifice at our own expense is the stuff heroes are made of.  There is a time and place for that.  But it is not a lifestyle.  It can actually cripple those we intend to help.  It can make people helpless.  It can actually rob them of the joy and satisfaction of a job well done.  So, if “helping” doesn’t really help, try stepping back and letting them figure it out in their own way and in their own time.  It will be hard.  It will cause an emotional upheaval on all sides.  But in the end, letting go and letting them and God figure it out is the best parenting you can do.

So, where does this tie into the Universe List?  I have paired it down to just those things for me.  It is amazing just how little I really need to be happy.  What is interesting is a lot of what I need is intangible.    For instance, I thought I wanted to purchase a house in Florida.  I love Florida.  However, what I really want is a place to put down roots.  I have never been a nomad at heart and that is the lifestyle I have been living.  As Maurine O’Hara said in “The Quiet Man”, Without my things about me this is not my home”.  I am paraphrasing.    So, does it really matter where I live? Is it the act of having a place where I can bring my things and be surrounded with them?  Well, I think it is both.

I have my things about me now but this is not home because in many ways I have no place for my things.  We have a crowded household.  Children do come back to live and bring with them children, pets, and spouses.  In these economic times it happens.  However, I am finding that over time I have tried to accommodate everyone by giving up more and more space until I have very little actual living space in which to have my things around me.  Those things that once fit in this home nicely are being discarded in leu of providing more space to others because I can’t stand the clutter.  It is smothering me.  And my world is shrinking.  So, I guess I should ask for a home with just enough space for my husband and I alone where I can enjoy a clutter free space.

I guess I need a place that has a place for MY Things!  I need a studio where I can be creative.   Now it’s not just the space, it is autonomy over my own space. I need  a place for just the two of us where I can have a place to escape, and a place outside in which to commune with nature or work on my projects.  Over the years I realize that ones own space to spread out is important to me.  I want to learn to do pottery, so I need a place for a pottery wheel.  I need a place for my torches and welding stuff so I can do metal sculpting.  I need a place where I can keep my easel so I can paint or a space for working on stained glass.  I need a place for an office so I can write and work on my websites.  What I need is not just a house but a place to really live, not just exist.

Five years ago, I did not know this about myself.  I adapted.  I compromised.  I did everything but stand up for my own needs.  How could I?  I didn’t know what they were.  It is a shame that it has taken me 62 years to discover my True Self.  It’s a shame that it has taken me 62 years of angst trying to blindly find my way.  However, I guess it isn’t so much the destination, but the journey.  Getting there is not only half the battle, but half the fun.  In the end, what is important is that we find our True Self and allow ourselves to become that person.  I’m just sorry that I didn’t understand the rules.  I didn’t get the clues.  I’m just sorry that I spent much of my life lost and groping blindly in the dark.

I guess this is why I am writing this blog.  I want to shed light on the fact that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.  There needs to be balance.  When things are out of balance, we have problems.  We can honor our true selves and still meet the needs of others. We just have to balance the two and let those who can take care of themselves, take on that responsibility.  We have to learn not to cripple those we love by doing too much at our own expense, thus handicapping and taking away their joys from accomplishment.  We can be a little bit selfish so that others learn our boundaries.  I think healthy boundaries are necessary.

I am not sorry I provided a place of respite for my grandchildren.  I just wish I had known what I know now so that the time they were here wasn’t so stressful for everyone.  Not having firm boundaries has caused a lot of strife and emotional turmoil.  We got through it but we are a bit tattered along the edges.

So, when you are creating your Universe list, don’t be afraid to re-evaluate frequently and be specific. The important goal here is to get to know your true self and let the Universe know what your needs are so it can provide it.  Needs change with time so look at it on a regular basis.



~ by womenstudycenter on August 30, 2010.

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