Hi friends this a quote which I’d love to practice. But then why is it so difficult?
Posted by dilipnaidu on February 5, 2013 in Inspirational quotes, Inspirational Wellness & Random and tagged Just be yourself, Know yourself, Leo Buscaglia.
How true and yet we bend ourselves backwards and tie ourselves in knots trying to live up to the image others have created for us. Sometimes we even beging to beleive that that image is what we really are. Unlearning is the difficult part .It’s easy from there on.
That’s a beautiful response. True that the tough part is unlearning and letting go of our pretenses which have trapped us in the ‘unreal’. Also the main reason for not being able to unlearn easily lies in our ‘ego’. And that’s where the challenge lies.
Many thanks and kind regards. Have a nice day
True indeed. And I agree with Madhu that sometimes it takes us many years to realise the wisdom of being yourself.
Yes there are no short cuts
The quote is true yet we try for the ‘difficult’ task… for purely irrational reasons. We have this innate ‘need’ to be ‘acknowledged’ and ‘accepted’ and the fun part is ‘at any cost’. So we end up being like Boggarts from J K Rowling’s world – which is a shape shifter … appears in the shape that the onlooker wants to see … so we too end up with masks over masks over masks each apparently appealing to the ‘other’…!
Confucius nailed it well – he said – we are not who we are; we are not who we think we are; we are not what others think we are; we are who we think others think we are!
its so funny that this attempt of ours to be someone who is ‘appealing’ to others is so insincere and is based on our ‘opinion’ of what the ‘other’ wants! and not exactly what the other wants from us!!
there is a beautiful anecdote from the book – How do you measure your life – by harvard professor Christensen Clayton – where he describes an episode of ‘understanding’ between spouses…
A gentleman returns home after a long day at work and sees his house in disarray (very unusually so) and sees his children (3 kids) doing their own thing creating a mess and there is no sign of his wife. The gentleman that he is, does the cleaning up, makes dinner, sets the table, gets the children to do their lessons and then goes to the bedroom to call on his wife and invite her to ‘dinner’.
Surprisingly, when he announces that all is well and that dinner is ready with a flourish his wife starts crying and screaming – saying after all I do, you had to come in and make me feel GUILTY of not being a good home maker!! I was just exhausted after a day of dealing with children and needed some adult to talk to for 5 mins share the days ups & downs and i would have been well!!
this is how much we ‘understand’ what the other wants! and on this fantastic basis we build our behaviors and then end up like the embarrassed man in the anecdote!
So whats the moral of the story?
No amount of trying to second guess what the other wants or seeks from us is going to work. so why go the convoluted way to ‘understanding’?
So how does one get rid of this ‘habit’?
first by realizing that we are in this game of smoke and mirrors and others also are in it thinking so. just as it takes one to call a bluff, we need to be the one to call this bluff. It is amazing that when u are yourself with no mask, the others also tend to slip off masks… but its like who will bell the cat first!!
second is being getting to reality. whats the reality of a relationship with any other? relationships by definition are fleeting & temporal. so why would one invest so much effort in making them work by ‘erasing’ oneself beyond identity?
then comes the biggest hurdle of all – the me – the I and the idea of I. what is it? and who is this I? if we reflect on this we will come to the point of just laughing at ourself for being such ‘suckers’ all our life trying to be boggarts!
There is a mythical story of Shiva’s family which is a good piece to end this with – the family was on a tour of the world & was moving on Nandi the bull’s back. One village they were called heartless for being so inconsiderate to a ‘voiceless’ being; so they changed tack and shiva walked – in the next – parvati became heartless for sitting happily when her husband walked; and when they reversed the same was said about Shiva; then the children walked & the parents walked and then finally all of them walked! Then too the world had a differing opinion about the way they conducted the journey. So it is with us, however we may live, there will be differing opinions; but the catch is whose opinion matters? shouldn’t the one who is with you 24×7 be the one you should take seriously? the rest are all seeing only glimpses of you, some temporary portraits of you, but YOU are seeing yourself & there is no ‘getting away’ – so shouldn’t you be comfortable listening to and being you??!
Dear Sriram thanks aplenty for this great response.
You sure have covered the wisdom of the quote convincingly. All the illustrations including that of the wise Confucius are very apt. But I must admit I too have attempted to emulate the behavior of some of the people who I admired greatly and considered to be ideals.
Do you think to get inspired by such is permissible and is it not good to have role models?
Cheers and best
the problem with role models is that they emerged in a context and unless we replicate the context just copying their behaviors is not going to help. What better example of this than of Ram & Krishna – standing for similar values but espousing very different methods!
No harm though in holding ideals & role models of aspiration – in terms of the universal lessons that they teach & offer us to learn – triumph over adversity; perseverance, hope etc. rather than be like ‘xyz’ of ‘abc’. We need to remove the person from the model because that is also an escape route for us. Oh even the great Mahatma lied to his parents! so i can also lie just a little and since i am nowhere near the Mahatma, let me lie a bit more! thats the trap we get into and instead of lifting ourselves we end up becoming mediocre.
Aristotle used to talk about a concept called Practical Wisdom which he defined as doing the right things at the right time with the right people for the right reasons. Behavioral Scientists & Neuro Scientists are now telling us that we are physiologically wired to behave with wisdom and any transgression from that is not accepted to the body and is evidenced in the form of increased stress / perspiration / palpitation as measurable by a Galvanic Skin Response. Only we have learnt to unheed these warning signs and continue being unlike us!
the deeper significance of being oneself is – that there is no other – in reality – so if one needs to be rooted in reality then one needs to be just oneself!
Wow Sriram beautifully explained. Thanks a lot! ::
Hallo, dear Dilip
This is for you, for being kind to others and me : )
Pick it up here if you want to http://summer4soul.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/valentines-day-this-is-for-you-because-you-are-love/
Sweet greetings, Summer
Dear Summer thank you so much for considering me worthy of this award. Many good wishes back to you.
You’re welcome : ) And thanks to you too
How are you now?
It is a very true quote. You can copy others for a while but; not all the time.Your GUNAS will not allow you to do it.
It is easy to go by the GUNAS and follow own Dharma (meaning Duty not Religion). BG says . “Swa dharme nidhanam shreya;
Para dharmo bhayavaha”.
It is better to die doing own duty than copying others.
Easiest thing is to be own self. It is not difficult .
Suhas my friend that’s a powerful interpretation which explains the meaning of the quote in terms of Gyan. I especially liked the last line – very positive.
And thanks I am doing well now.
The problem is with our conditioning. As a child you are forced to obey, when you are a kid then you are forced to practice beliefs and rituals… when you are a teen, you are forced to portray a ‘cool’ image…..when you grow adult, you are forced to conform to the rules the society!
Hi and welcome. A perfect explanation indeed and that is by we lose our God given true inner self. Thanks a lot for your comments.
You don’t need to be anybody but yourself. In my humble opinion, you are pretty darn special.
We need to really believe that. Thanks and cheers
“This is who I am, take it or leave it”, well most sensible people would leave it because such a notion is self centered and excludes self reflection to become a better person.
Carl yes that’s an interesting take on the quote. Thanks
I guess we often feel we have roles to play, and feel we won’t be accepted or valued as much if we’re just ourselves.
Oh yes and that’s why it is so difficult to be ourselves. Thanks Binky
When you recognize the ” You” and love you for who you are that when there is a chance for real growth
That’s the good way for sure. Thanks
How many of us are moulded from birth? ’tis a lot of shedding required to become closer to who we believe.
You are so right Kelly. Yes we need to make efforts shed the unnecessary stuff.
True. Yet, we mold ourselves, sometimes for love, sometimes for fear, sometimes for sacrifice and sometimes, just for receiving what was never ours.
Spot on Punam
Oh, I know exactly what you mean!!!!
Have a beautiful day, Dilip!
Thanks Marina tons of goodness coming you way
…gratefully received, Dilip and back to you!
Oh the things people would do to please everyone……love the quote
How true! But realisation dawns quite late in life unfortunately
Yes Madhu it is true. But I guess ‘it’s better late than never”!
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