You gotta be you
Not some image of what you think others view you as. Not some version of yourself that you believe you are in the eyes of others. Screw that. That’s a shell of yourself.
It was suggested to me today that I may be getting too personal with my writing. And that I will lose readers as a result. This hit me pretty hard. Particularly because of the vulnerability I feel expressing this level of what’s going on for me. My knee-jerk response was in agreement, almost apologetic for turning this platform into somewhat of a journal or diary. I experienced a surge of doubt imagining hundreds of people rolling their eyes and thinking, “oh man, another piece on Etan’s pain.., how much more of this can I take.” – spurring thoughts of “unsubscribe” or worse.
So I quickly started a new draft post. One on a more academic topic. Less personal. Enough pain, and enough healing, let’s get back to sharing interesting wisdom.
And literally just then, I got a text from an academic friend who expressed great admiration for my last few posts. He quoted several lines and then wrote “hot”. A friend who I wouldn’t have suspected would.
I called him and thanked him, and asked him if he felt that I was getting too personal. He said “of course not, that’s what’s real and interesting, what you’re really going through – not just another lesson “brought down” from another guide.
We can keep redefining ourselves based on how others think we should be, not trusting our instinct to express what we are going through, and have been gifted to share. We can suffocate in doubt towards how others might perceive us, re-positioning ourselves to the point of blandness – of what the mainstream might find interesting.
But that’s not the purpose of this for me. Part of sharing wisdom inspired by the sages is showcasing what I’m going through – how deeply I dig and the struggles I face while applying the wisdom through faith when times are tough. I know that so many of us are going through our own challenges now and I hope that my experience – my honesty and vulnerability will serve as a voice for what others are struggling with. That’s my intention.
It’s not about the messenger of an opinion which shakes your foundation, it’s about the power you hand over to an external force. It’s our response that’s interesting – what another’s view toward us drums up within. The messenger is simply offering constructive criticism, looking to help out. Reacting toward the messenger is misplaced emotion, but holding it in just fortifies our subconscious rage.
A loving messenger only wants what’s best for you. That’s the only intention. Alignment with our authentic power – as unconventional a process as it may appear – should be the destination of intentions.
My lesson today is to be me. Not to revert back into a trapped child with no voice. That’s not interesting. That’s not what Jay Z is doing. That’s not what Rebbe Nachman did. Shrinking into doubt and fear of what others think of us is a prime contributor to subconscious tension – the kind that back pain is made of. On this narrow bridge we Source seekers need to blaze our trail.