“We have the choice of two identities: the external mask which seems to be real…and the hidden, inner person who seems to us to be nothing, but who can give himself eternally to the truth in whom he subsists. (295)”Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

I’ve never asked much of other people, other than to show up as they truly are.

How hard can that be?

No I mean it.

How hard can that be?

But nearly everyone is scared to death.

Of course, reading that last line back, it makes no sense. They’re not scared to death, rather they’re scared of unknown consequences. When I say unknown, I’m sure they (and you) perceive of something, but it’s mostly mind games as opposed to actuals.

In saying this, I’m not holding myself out as some exemplar — hell, I’ve made a bucket load of mistakes in thinking all people wanted was the real me — but the longer you negate true self, the worse life becomes.

Why?

Well, for a start, you lose touch with your soul and things then begin to die. But day to day what it means is you don’t know who you are. You think you do but it takes very little for you to be blown off course and you’re immediately answerable to your inner demons that keep you pinned to the floor.

In coaching clients, I often ask them, “How would you feel if you knew you couldn’t fail?” and I’m often met with silence. But then again, why would anyone think that they had to fail in the first place simply for being who they truly are?

In the end, all of this is a choice and one you either care enough about to face and overcome or you don’t. I can’t say which side of the imaginary line you’ll decide to walk but I do know the longer you leave it to embrace your shadow and light, the more likely it is you’ll give up on life and living into true self.

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