Every day there is a battle being waged inside of you. The struggle to realize your authentic Self. What you genuinely are is pitted against what you were never meant to be. You probably can’t even recall when this clash began. Most likely whenever you were first rewarded for being something that you’re not. The bounty for disingenuousness is substantial. You get to be considered “normal”. Perhaps the conflict was incited after you were punished for revealing what you truly are. Others can be threatened by your truth. Especially if it evokes shame in them by exposing their own insincerity. Others can also feel threatened if what you actually experience does not jibe with their consensus reality.
It doesn’t matter now. You’ve been drafted and sent to the front lines. The only question that remains is: “Are you willing to fight to become your authentic Self?” No one else can do this for you. You must stand or fall alone. Your two most powerful adversaries are the ideal self and the positivistic self. What’s that? You ask what’s wrong with trying to become my ideal self? To start with it’s not your ideal self that you’re trying to realize. It’s the ideal self of your parents, teachers, boyfriends, girlfriends, and society-at-large. The ideal self is impossible for you to achieve. It’s an image of who you are that has been patched together and projected onto you. It does not even rest upon a foundation that springs from your actual Being.
Your second adversary is much more insidious and cunning. I will go into a more detailed portrayal of its character because it is currently the greatest threat to realizing an authentic Self. Positivism believes that it is the sole possessor of objective truth. Positivism rejects all introspective and intuitive knowledge. The positivistic self creates a schism between what you do and what you are. It ultimately leads to the belief that we are all separate, soulless entities.
The positivistic self is like a balloon. Floating farther and farther away from the Earth. Untethered. Inflated by rationalism. Buoyed by abstraction. A single strand of instinct dangles from its tiny knot. Desperately it waits for someone’s hand to reach out and grab hold of this tenuous thread. To guide the positivistic self back towards the Soul. Back towards Being. Before it drifts deeper and deeper into those infinite spaces. Where dread replaces reason.
The positivistic self will make you its prisoner. Condemning you to serve out an ontological sentence. Institutionalized. Locking you away inside a Cartesian cell so long that freedom becomes a fallacy. Separating you from matter by walls of the mind. Every day you will become hardened, like a criminal inside a mechanized mold. Every day you will become more at home inside this behavioral big house. Until causation eclipses meaning.
The only one who knows if you’re being true to your Self is you. The moments when you’ve lived your truth stay with you forever. They are almost impossible to forget; though some of us have. Those who have forgotten are the fallen soldiers. Beware of the fallen soldiers. Those amongst the ranks who would advise you to deny parts of your Self. Those amongst the ranks who would whisper in your ear: “There is no authentic Self. If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist.” Those who would love to see you plunge on your own sword and become disillusioned and disenchanted.
Do not be tempted or tricked into betraying your Self. When you deny parts of your genuine Self these parts do not simply vanish. They linger inside of you and poison your Spirit at its source. Much of what we awkwardly refer to as “depression” is the disowned parts of your real Self that are being forcefully de-pressed into your unconscious. The world is as alluring and full of possibility right now as it ever has been. In fact, your ability to actualize your real Self is what helps to make this so.
You see, by avoiding combat and by choosing not to fight you aren’t the only casualty. We all lose. We are deprived of the unique contribution that only you can give. Whatever offering you had to share is gone forever. As Thoreau remarked: “Most men die with their music still inside of them.” No one really knows what they are capable of being unless they try and find out. The endowment you have could be anything. It is the purpose for which you were born. The joy you can create by defying consensus reality, by resisting fear and by refusing to settle for a watered-down, mediocre version of yourself will inspire others to become what they are. It will also make the world more beautiful.
Are you willing to fight to become your authentic Self?