The hardest thing to do is be yourself!
I know that sounds a bit daft, but nonetheless in my estimation it is true, for that action calls for an honesty and self awareness that is usually beyond the ability of most. Hence it is dismissed as ridiculous by the majority. But step back for a moment and look at yourself.
How much of what you do comes from other people’s expectations? Do you really hold to those beliefs first hand or are they someone else’s teachings or value systems? So many of our social mores are passed on down the generations altering as our society evolves. We see that one generation’s prejudice morphs into acceptance and eventual normality as time goes by. So who says that something is not socially acceptable or in fact that it now is? We continually live by rules and expectations that are accepted by the majority but without thinking them through for ourselves. We simply do not have the time or the inclination!
Our urges and instincts are moulded by ‘civilisation’ or ‘religious’ teachings. Ethics and morals are instilled in us from an early age and our subsequent behaviour is inevitably justified as being ‘right’ and ‘proper’ or ‘appropriate’. Certainly it is not usually thought through firsthand.
In a gross situation that is not normally a problem. One extreme example of this is murder. Most people would instinctively shy away from such an act. But try to alter a childhood’s defence mechanism that you have always used and you will probably find that to change is fraught and very difficult – that is even after accepting you do such a thing in the first place! A behaviour adopted as a child will continue to work in adult life even if it is not appropriate any more, so more often than not the adult is unaware of such behaviour and is denied.
In particular, what is appropriate sexual behaviour is a minefield of misconceptions and emotional pain, even without the actual physical act of intercourse ever taking place. Gender games and manipulation feeds the ‘soaps’ and films that are churned out in mass productions worldwide. They are the bread and butter for writers – and Counsellors as well. Our minds will tell us one thing and our hearts another, so what do we really have to do to be ourselves?
The search for self is a search undertaken by so very few. It tends to be the province of the oddball, the religious zealot or freak, the one who is looked upon as being very strange or to be avoided, the one who is going through a divorce or emotional troubles, the Loner.
Yet the truth is in there somewhere and once the search is begun there is no turning back. You are on the journey of discovery, which is basically a spiritual exploration. So God help you, for not many people will.