This past week I’ve been fortunate enough to listen to several audio recordings where different people review their lives, the mistakes they’ve made throughout them but who also shares what they would have done differently if they had the chance to do it all over again.
In one recording titled Lost Your True Self – Life Review a woman shared her experiences with being very popular and attractive growing up and how that affected her in terms of building a ‘shell’ or a ‘mask’ as a personality that she imprisoned herself behind, only to realize years later that she had lost herself, that she had never allowed her true self to come forth.
I could definitely relate to what she shared. Growing up I had a lot of trouble getting friends. Looking back at it I see how it was actually a situation I created for myself by being overly aware or conscious about the entire ‘socializing’ thing, where it was like I was so conscious about it that I couldn’t engage in it in a natural way and instead desperately stood on the outside looking in wishing I could be part of it.
As a child I experienced having a few friends. We would play at school, I would go to their house or they would go to mine, but it was never comfortable or relaxed. I never felt like I could be myself, because I was always conscious about the importance of making friends.
I spent a lot of time by myself too and some of my favorite things to do by myself were reading, being in nature and being creative inventing or designing things in our basement where we had an entire woodshop available where I could build things. I went on long bike rides with myself or simply played in the garden.
I remember those moments as peaceful and enjoyable but at the time I didn’t value it as such. I believed that it was crucial for me to become good at making friends, having friends and being popular. And the worse I experienced myself at it, the more acutely aware I was of the entire social structure, the more awkward I became and the more difficult it was for me to actually make friends.
So the more I tried being part of other people’s world, the more I rejected my own, the more I devalued my own. Eventually I became so despearate that I would do anything to make friends. I believed that when I wasn’t good at it or if others didn’t want to be friends with me, it meant that there was something wrong with me and that I had to change. So I did.
When I started listening to music for example, my entire focus was on finding music I could listen to that others would think was cool. I didn’t give a moment’s consideration for what music I would truly enjoy listening to and I pretended that I didn’t like certain music even though I did if others said it was stupid or childish.
Eventually I actually got to a point where I had enough and where I wanted something more substantial in my life, I wanted to ‘find myself’. But instead of actually turning inward and asking myself who I am, I just tried finding new identities, new clothes and new music that stood in opposition and contrast to what I had lived before, believing that just because it was in opposition and rebellion, it was my ‘real true self’.
Throughout my childhood and teenage years I felt so alone, so isolated, so lonely and not understood by others. I felt like I had no one to talk to. Eventually when I was 19 I met what I at the time saw as my ’first true friend’. I had eventually learned to cope in social situations and had taught myself the skills necessary to ’pass as a normal human being’. Because previously I felt so alien that I literally thought I might actually be an alien. I saw everyone else being so comfortable and natural around each other and I just couldn’t do that, because my focus was on the very structure of the friendships and social situations themselves. I overanalyzed everything.
So when I finally learned how to act around other people it was a very strategic process of observing people and see how they act around each other, which characters and personalities people like to be around and how to be timed in when to say what.
During the next ten years I slowly but surely got more and more friends and I found myself finally able to be comfortable and natural in social situations to the point where I eventually got involved in a group of friends – something that I had never previously been able to do. I was overjoyed.
But it wasn’t real. I never found peace, no matter how many friends I gained or how popular I felt. I continued to compromise myself and do things that wasn’t true to me, I felt lost.
When I found Desteni I started working with these points, with my loneliness, with my desire to have friends, to belong in a group, with my fear of being alone – and most importantly I started working on my relationship with myself.
When I realized how extensively I had betrayed and compromised myself over the years, I cried – and I forgave myself. I started to develop a real relationship with myself and slowly but surely rebuild the integrity that I’d never really given myself the chance to live.
Being comfortable with myself is something I could have only hoped for in the past. I never even really knew what it meant to be comfortable with myself or to be with other people without pretending that I was someone that I was not. With Desteni I finally began being able to do so, as I walked through all the masks that I had created throughout my life. This continues to be a process, but everything I face myself in relation to friends or social relationships I have the tools to support myself to change. I have realized that I don’t have to be uncomfortable around others. I don’t have to push them away.
I started to embrace others and allow myself to get to know them, even people I would have never thought I’d have anything in common with, even people that I resisted or experienced dislike towards. And suddenly, for the first time in my life, other people started opening up to me, I started to get to know them for real, not just in the mundane and superficial social relationships that we’re so used to, but as real life beings with a world inside of them, with skills and expressions that were unique and different from everyone else.
This is something I would have not discovered without Desteni and without the daily support of the amazing audio recordings from Eqafe. If I could gift this to everyone I would. Throughout my life I’ve come to take the uncomfortability, the superficiality, the fakeness for granted. I’ve accepted it as normal to never really connect with anyone, let alone myself. I never knew that it was possible to be comfortable and at ease with yourself, to live without a constant yearning desire to be part of a group, but to instead engage with others unconditionally and in equality. But it is. And if I can do it, so can you. You don’t have to be lost and alone. You don’t have to fake your way through life to make friends. You can be here and Live and be comfortable, not only with yourself but with others to. You can get to know them as you’re getting to know yourself and we can finally open ourselves to each other and to ourselves without having to be afraid or feel desperate to connect. Because we realize that we’re already here, we’re already one, we’re already equal. We simply have to start live it and be it until it becomes the truth of who we are.
Other interviews relevant in relation to the points I’ve been talking about here
Investigate Desteni, investigate the forum where on is invited to write oneself out in self-honesty and where any questions regarding the Desteni Material will be answered by Destonians who are walking their own process. Visit the Destonian Network where videos and blogs are streamed daily. Suggest to also check out the Desteni I Process and Relationship courses as well as the FREE DIP Lite course