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I Want To Be Me!

I Want To Be Me!
By María Cicuendez

If we are truly ourselves, we will follow the path to allowing our children to also be themselves.

In every family, there are people who dare to be themselves, challenging the critics, and contributing to the family’s inner growth.

On the other hand, most don’t. Sometimes it’s worth watching movies on television, despite having to garner the patience necessary to deal with commercial interruptions. The 1998 film The Wedding is one of these, not simply to enjoy seeing the exuberant actress Halle Berry, but because the movie gives true insight into families that live generation to generation “keeping up appearances” at the expense of personal happiness.

There are many families like that. And we become accustomed to maintaining relationships based on the appearance of creating a perfect world, as seen from the outside.

When we are children, we behave spontaneously as our real selves, but as we grow we undergo a process of domestication that too often makes us live playing characters that have nothing to do with our true selves. There comes a time when the character we’ve created can usurp our true personality, and we can run the risk of not even being aware that we’ve lost touch with our core.

Parents play a key role in educating and encouraging their children to be themselves, while refraining from projecting their dreams, interests, and life plans on them. But if a parent has not walked their own sometimes painful path of self discovery, it is impossible for them to show the path to their children. In that case, their kids would have to “break the umbilical cord” at some point in their lives and strive to be themselves no matter what.

There are always people in all families who break the established methods and patterns and provide an evolutionary leap in the development of the family history. However, they are often judged, marked, and labeled as “black sheep.” But I give the referenced color black a special meaning of purification and enlightenment, in the shadows, in order to reach a state of inner peace that is only achieved by being honest and coherent with oneself.

The hardest challenge for people who dare to break established family beliefs is not getting trapped by the emotional blackmail and by the limitations of other family members, or being locked into the fold and kept from flying free due to their relentless use of guilt. The fear of no longer being loved or not belonging to a family can be quite crippling for those who struggle against the prevailing winds.

Where do we find the strength to dare to be ourselves despite the beliefs and impositions of those who say they love us, but only if we do what they command? It is found within each of us! The strength is in daring “to leave everything behind to achieve it all” as Spanish mystical writers such as Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross have said. The light is in becoming aware that in the end we cling to delusional ideas such as “the need to belong somewhere and be loved and accepted by others.” The individual belongs to neither anything nor anyone, because everything is ephemeral in life, and love and acceptance are within everyone. If someone does not respect your freedom of choice and neither loves nor accepts you, why should you waste your energy taking into consideration the opinion of a person so poor in spirit?

Sometimes, people discover too late that they have wasted their lives playing roles in order to be accepted, and this has cost them the highest price – their freedom, their dignity, and their own life.

A daisy was never created to be a rose. And one cannot expect a cat to be as swift as a lion. If we are truly ourselves, we will follow the path to allowing our children to also be themselves.

María Cicuendez is a Spanish journalist and master of Reiki, sound therapy, crystal therapy, and floral essences.

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