Love is the Door to Your Authentic Self
I spent so much of my life trying to be myself. I would go deep into navel-gazing, hoping that I could figure out who I really am and how then I shall live. I didn't realize this at the time, but I was actually trying to fix myself rather than accept and love myself. I was being selfish: My time and attention were unnecessarily fixed upon me, but this attention wasn't loving. I was stuck, wishing I was fully living my identity and purpose, spinning my wheels to see how I could get there and making no progress in the matter. I could not see how worried I was by what others thought of me. I could not see how much I hated myself and wanted to change me. I could not see myself or others without that somehow posing an existential threat to me.
What changed? LOVE.
Love begins with acceptance. I first had to accept the way things are. My life circumstances, my quirks, what appears to be both within and around me... everything. I accepted it. Love continues with choice. I chose my life. I chose to trust, listening to my inner voice, validating how I hear God. I chose to embrace my life as it is, from my beautiful family to the friends I have, to the silence and perceived gaps in relationships. Love then grows to create and to act. My life and my relationships are the canvas on which I paint, rather than resisting what is, I choose to paint in the power of love. As I chose to love myself and my life, I found that I was being me. It wasn't by focusing on me that I came to express myself, it was by making a choice to be IN love. Love is a two-way door. It opens toward myself and it opens toward others. As we practice going through the door in both directions, we will manifest our authentic selves naturally. We need not contrive images to present to others of who we would like to be, we will simply be as we are, and invite others to do the same.
Love is the door to your authentic self.