How to Be Who I Want to Be
The message in a book I’m reading is that I can’t be who I want to be by being who I am. It’s not a new message; there are variations with the same theme.
I’ve been on a path to be the person I want to be for as long as I can remember. In the early days, I wanted to be the person my parents, friends, employers and significant others wanted me to be: obedient, loyal, hardworking, and uncomplaining.
At some point, I stopped wanting to be who those people wanted to be. Instead, I wanted to be the person hundreds of books, CDs and workshops said I wanted to be: patient, forgiving, accepting, and unattached to outcomes.
I learned that if I detached some, if I didn’t get quite so close, share quite so much of myself, care quite so deeply about what happened (or didn’t), I could slip through my life kindly and patiently, I could accept everything and everyone just as it was. Ohm.
Eventually, I realized I want to be the person I want to be: forgiving, kind, patient, and accepting, yes. But I want to be happy. Back to the books. Turns out, there are a lot of theories: Happiness comes from within; it comes from helping others; it comes from winning the lottery; it comes from spending quality time with family and friends.
At some point, I remembered one simple suggestion I read ages ago: Pay attention to what makes you happy and do more of it. Notice what makes you unhappy and stop doing that. The author didn’t say, but this is important: Hush that monkey mind that jumps in with, “Yah, but…” followed by a list of reasons you can’t.
I’ve decided to let go of that detached me, at least some and with certain people. I’ve told my monkey mind to go play someplace and stop bothering me. It’s a little ironic that I see myself becoming more like the five-year-old me – I was happy until I started paying attention to everyone’s voice but my own. I’m pretty sure who I want to be is a lot like who I was before I let everybody else tell me who I am.