Creativity Magazine

Unpeeling Old Layers To Uncover Myself

Posted on the 30 July 2019 by Berijoy @berijoy

"The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are."
― Carl Gustav Jung

I so agree with Jung. Everything surrounding us is meant to keep us from it. We are so pushed and shoved into being as the status quo, there is little room for idiosyncrasies, eccentricities, oddball quirky ways of being. We tout individuality, uniqueness, and such, but when you come down to it, we shy away from things and people that don't fit into the neat little pockets of so-called normalcy that we've squished ourselves into.

Getting out of them and into our true selves requires the recognition, decision, and then, determination to go against the grain of cookie-cutter living .

I mean, nobody wants to not fit in.

And so, breaking old patterns and habits challenges. When you have well-worn grooves of operating in certain ways, thinking certain ways, reacting in knee-jerk ways, and any other thing we come to identify as "us", it can be difficult to break the habit of bad behavior.

After all, it's "just the way I am" - right?

I've been at it for a while. For years, actually. Just when I think I've dug myself out of something, I'm shortly thereafter to discover that it was just one layer. ("But wait! There's more!" I hear the Ronco or Popeil man saying on late night TV commercials). I discover that the deeper I go, the more layers I unpeel, the more I discover that getting to this thing called my true self, my real identity, may be no small matter. As I go deeper within, I discover that what I thought I had settled, was just all that I could see at that time.

When I come back around on a new cycle, I realize that there was more. The remains of some previously worked on pattern or behavior now newly uncovered, stares back at me clinging fiercely to its post, determined not to be undone.

"Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen."
― Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

If you're lucky enough to get to the final layer of this or that issue, behavior, pattern you'll arrive at last to that poor, pitiful, remnant clinging desperately to its place. That which you once identified as 'me' (and proudly, I might add), shivers in the now exposed cold air.

I've rooted out some things easily (I won't say effortlessly), and they've gone and been done away with. Good for me. But now I wrestle with things more deeply, more intrinsically a part of me that are not going without a battle, without a last good fight. In the process I affirm my determination and desire to uproot anything inauthentically me, even as I cling fiercely to what feels like the 'me' I've known most of my life.

Unpeeling the layers is for revealing my true, authentic self. It is the real me who longs for fresh air, who wants to feel free, who wants to be known. As I transform, I sparkle a little brighter as I endeavor to liberate myself from social definitions and expectations of who I should be, should want to be, need to be (in order to feel like I fit in). I was born to be uniquely me with all the quirks, imperfections, magic and firelight that I am.

"Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance."
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

I grew up being dusted off and petted into place, fussed over and fixed so that I did not reflect poorly on the adults all around me. It was not meant for damage, but conformity in a society that already had plenty to say about people who were already not part of the dominant racial social group. It was a double-bind as I learned to adjust myself to fit in properly in society, but it meant I also had to adjust my own unique self to fit in elsewhere to be loved.

Many years and much personal growth work later, I am unraveling what I pray are the final vestiges of constriction (self-imposed and social) to breathing freely in my bare essence and raw being. It is a process of discovery as I learn who I am, and delight in that discovery.

It is so necessary. It feels so good. I am unpeeling the layers of 'me,' and as I go, I'm shining my unique light in the twilight sky.

If you look up and recognize my unique sparkle, you'll see me dancing naked among the stars.

© 2019. Egyirba High. All Rights Reserved.

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