I literally just sent this quote to my mother-in-law this morning. She is a beautiful, 79 year-old woman who is still working through this life to find her true self. Her husband (of over 40 years) died about a year and a half ago. She has been living on her own, feeling quite alone at times, but learning about her own, personal needs. A couple friends arranged for her to go out to dinner on a double date with one of their close friends, who had lost his wife a few years ago. My sweet mother-in-law was like a young school girl, giddy with excitement and anticipation of someone new, people to talk to, time to have conversations and not be alone. She has been spending quite a bit of time with this new man and excited for the future possibilities. It has been weeks of ups and downs, comments like, “I think he likes me more than I like him.” or “I don’t want to get close to him on the couch, I just want to be friends.” She is excited for his call & then she is excited for him to go somewhere else. It has been so funny to watch this relationships ups and downs.
We were shocked when out of nowhere the two announced they are getting married! My husband and I were shocked at how quickly things were turned on. It has been a week of excitement, fears, future plans, wedding ideas…on and on. My husband is the only son and even he began to wonder what was fully going on & why they were in such a rush to get married within a couple of weeks. We needed to have dinner with this new man and get some questions out of the way. We barely know him.
Our little family sat down last night with this new guy (lets call him Joe) and my mother-in-law. We only had so much time because Joe had a previous card game engagement. We all sat and had chicken together. We got a few questions, cares, ideas, happenings out on the table, but there is still plenty to discuss. The whole conversation my mother-in-law just sat at the table embarrassed at some comments, shyly commenting at other bits of conversation. It was like seeing a different person at the table. A mix of happy, shy, her, but not her. I observed her every action.
After Joe left, we got to talking with my mother-in-law and could sense some deep fears, some funny situations that she felt caused the whole quick engagement, her genuine nervousness to jump in to so many new changes—home, travel, someone new, new children & their personalities, her insecurities, etc. It was a conversation that was up, down, begging my husband to help her slow things down, wondering if she could keep her home, fears of leaving her security…a realm of various feelings. She was like a young girl that was so unsure of herself. Someone who you could see and feel was broken from previous relationships, someone who felt like she finally had a person who sincerely cared about her, thought she was beautiful, wants to take care of her and you could see she did not feel worthy of such love and care. It was a little heartbreaking to see this beautiful woman who is so kind, big hearted, generous, willing to help anyone—so unsure of her true essence, confused why someone would want her, questioning if she deserved someone so willing to do things for her. So afraid, so childlike and yet knowing that she did not want to hurt this sweet man, but needs to learn and understand some of her own feelings.
I think everyone has moments, situations, challenges, insecurities that make us become almost childlike, to talk in whispers of our real feelings, to seize up in fear of falling or making a mistake. There are times when we hurt, but don’t feel safe to share everything. I think we have baggage that sometimes we need to carry to a place that we can finally set it down and let it go. Everyone at different points in our lives may feel small, will be challenged beyond comfortable spaces, will need to face the fears we hold within so tightly, need to gently talk to the child within and make them feel safe, loved and nurtured. Each and every one of us goes through life with varying experiences and it is what we take from those moments that will help us reach higher to find an even better version of ourselves. Moments that challenge us, change us and make us grow.
I just received an Oprah article that talked about finding your truest self beyond your every day self. In a sense—finding and connecting with your deeper, soul self vs your daily ego self. I think that is a daily struggle for many. How do we get to a place where we are genuinely listening or following the guidance that is given to our soul vs the person who is here living this life daily. I felt this article had some great insight into my mother-in-law’s personal needs.
My mother-in-law had shared that she felt like she was putting on a persona so much of the time with Joe and having a hard time being her self. We expressed that we had seen that in even how she talks to him. It was so interesting. Her insecurities step in and her self doubt takes over—she thinks, “Why would this guy who has traveled the world, is so smart, so educated, so….be interested in me?”
Here are some key takeaways from the Oprah article:
At those tough moments, try to get some outside perspective about what is happening. The qualities of the everyday self and the true self are actually very different:
1. The true self is certain and clear about things. The everyday self gets influenced by countless outside influences, leading to confusion.
2. The true self is stable. The everyday self shifts constantly.
3. The true self is driven by a deep sense of truth. The everyday self is driven by the ego, the unending demands of “I, me, mine.”
4. The true self is at peace. The everyday self is easily agitated and disturbed.
5. The true self is love. The everyday self, lacking love, seeks it from outside sources.
Once you begin to recognize and encourage the qualities of the true self, your life will begin to change. You’ll make better choices. You’ll expand your awareness. You’ll discover and encourage your purpose. You’ll challenge yourself to meet new goals.
The greatest spiritual secret in the world is that every problem has a spiritual solution, not because every prayer is answered by a higher power, but because the true self, once discovered, is the source of creativity, intelligence and personal growth. No external solution has such power. The true self is the basis for being deeply optimistic about how life turns out and who you really are, behind the screen of doubt and confusion. The path to it isn’t simply inspiring; it’s the source of solutions that emerge from within.
Deepak Chopra, MD, is the author of What Are You Hungry For?: The Chopra Solution to Permanent Weight Loss, Well-Being, and Lightness of Soul, founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center.
I thought there was some great truth in this article. If we can all begin little by little to seek the truth hidden in our problems and find a spiritual solution, then we will be following the guidance of our truest self. The confusion will break to clarity, the fear will bow down to joy, truth will set us free.
Have a blessed day. Be true to you. Peace, Love and Light to you today. -H