by Jerry Marrs, Transition and Communication Coach
Your core being is a combination of your innate sense of self which came with you into this world and who you choose to be to live the most fulfilling life possible.
Your innate self is that part of you that exists without influence from the world around you. Dependent upon your beliefs, it is driven by your soul, your past lives, your god, your genetics, or maybe a combination of these factors. It is very difficult to discern this part of ourselves. Over time we have allowed our innate selves to be swayed by world views, people, experiences, tragedies, joys, needs, fears, and basic survival. Parsing our innate self out from the jumble of emotions and experiences is difficult. It requires us to challenge beliefs we hold, memories we cling to, and relationships we hold dear. It challenges us to view others in new, judgment free ways where we accept another’s behavior is based on their life experiences and beliefs rather than our own.
Your innate self is likely one of the voices in your head telling you when you have done well, could have done better, or behaved in a way antithetical to your sense of right and wrong. As we walk through the day, we hear a variety of voices in our heads. Most of the voices are those of others that we replay over and over condemning us, telling us we are not good enough, telling us we are fat or ugly, or, even more dangerous, telling us we deserve something at the expense of another. We allow the voices of others to control our beliefs of ourselves and our beliefs of others. We forget that we control ourselves, that we cannot control another and we should allow no other to control us.
In our search for our innate voice, we must turn off the voices of others by challenging everything we say to ourselves. We must look at each voice and see if it comports with reality, factual data, visual data, and who we know, deep down, that we are meant to be. For example, for years I had a voice telling me to stay quiet because I would not be accepted and would be ridiculed. In examining this voice, I realized it was wrong on many levels. What others think about what I say does not matter. What others think of me does not change who I am. When I stay quiet, I fail to share something which someone else may find important or helpful. Now, to be sure, I am very careful with my words. I carry a deep belief that I am my word, that my word must be the truth, and that my word creates my world. My words must also be in alignment with my innate self and who I choose to be. Of course, I fail regularly. Part of my persona is a quick wit, a dry sense of humor, and a gregarious demeanor which means I sometimes carry a joke too far or say something I regret. When this happens, I practice forgiveness – I restore my word by asking for forgiveness, and by forgiving myself.
I have been able to begin to discover my innate self through persistent investigation and by challenging the voices in my head. I refine and clarify my understanding of my innate self on a daily basis. Each voice that challenges my wellbeing or my sense of self, is poured through a filter that weeds out the lies and beliefs bestowed by others. I also strive to ensure who I choose to be comports with my innate self.
I believe my innate self is one of love, caring, and patience. Because of this, I choose to be loving, I choose to love, and I choose to openly express my love. I choose to care about others and I choose to be patient. I have found that being love is far less difficult than being frustration or hate, that caring about others reaps rewards one would not otherwise see and that patience affords others the opportunity to learn and grow without fear. I truly believe that choosing to love has brought far more love into my life than I otherwise would have seen or experienced. My goal is to love unconditionally. Please note, this does not mean I allow someone else to walk all over me or mistreat me. If someone is bringing discord or chaos into my life, and it does not appear that will change in the near future, they will not be a part of my life. However, I will continue to love them and send them blessings in hopes that one day they will be able to find peace.
When you love, you are loved. When you hate, you are hated. This is the nature of life. In The Gentle Art of Blessing, Pierre Pradervand discusses the parable of the white birds and black birds as taught by Tierno Bokar, an African sage. In the parable, white birds represent blessing and black birds represent curses. When someone curses another a black bird flies to that person, but it must have a place to roost designated for black birds. Likewise, blessing are white birds that fly to another seeking a roost designated for white birds. Each time we send a black bird out, we open a roost for a new black bird to alight in our soul. However, if all we send forth are white birds, there will be no roost in which a black bird may take hold. Thus, my goal is to send out nothing but white birds and in return only have new white birds, blessing of others, bestowed upon me. I do not send blessing in hope of receiving blessings in return, but the simple nature of reality affords such a return.
I practiced this philosophy recently in a place that some may consider one of the darkest, scariest places on earth – DMV. I needed to upgrade my driver’s license to a Class A (think big rig) license to allow me to tow a trailer that otherwise exceeds California’s weight limitations. The process was arduous and time consuming. However, I approached each interaction at DMV with patience, offered blessings (non-verbal), and practiced gratitude. In return, I was met with fabulous people that wor
ked hard to help me understand the process, walk me through it, reschedule appointments, provide me study material, and make an extremely difficult skills and driving test down right enjoyable.
My innate self, which I believe is a gift from God and a result of lessons learned in past lives, has one true command – to love and accept others. I choose to honor my innate self by striving to treat everyone I meet with love and blessings. I choose to offer this love regardless of race, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or religion. I choose to look past mistakes and misdeeds, and seek the soul of the person in front of me. The soul that is free of the baggage of the world, free of the hatred taught by others, free of the self-doubt and self-loathing caused by judging oneself against the success, beauty, or fame of others. I believe that deep, sometimes very deep, within lies purity. And, if I am wrong, if one lacks any glimmer of purity, that is not for me to judge but rather God.
Steve Hardison, a renowned life coach in Arizona, is a master of love. Steve reminds us that as easily as we choose to hate people we do not know; we can choose to love people we do not know. He encourages the practice of love in everything we do. This is the love I strive for. This is the love that binds my choices with my soul, my innate self, and which allows me to continually strive to live a life free of hate and fear. This is the love which frees oneself.