"The Privilege of a Lifetime is Being Who You Are."
The quick answer is ABSOLUTELY YES (if this is how YOU express your most authentic self on that day!).
The not so quick answer requires us to ask ourselves some questions. For example, when you read the description above (you’ve gotta admit it DOES sound pretty awesome), were you aware of your inner dialogue? Were you secretly smiling because you know how you would express your own unique version of the Golden Girls meets Ben-n-Jerry’s Fantasy, or upon visualizing yourself in this scenario, did your brain instantly drop the guillotine on your happy feelings by flooding you with all types of statements related to the act of staying in bed all day = I’d be a lazy bum; or watching marathon reruns of the Golden Girls = vacuous and unproductive time that eats my brain away; or enjoying every sweet indulgent bite of that pint of Ben-n-Jerry’s Karamel Sutra ice cream = shows I lack discipline, have no willpower to avoid “bad” foods, and this doesn’t really move me closer to losing that 20 lbs.
Oh My Gosh! What Would Everyone Think If I Did This!!!!?
My point is that the raw power in this quote is that it makes us all have to confront “the rules” (and our choice to accept those rules even when they don’t serve us)! What rules you ask, because let’s face it…without rules (a.k.a. laws, standard operating procedures, or basically anything that is accepted by the masses as “right and true”), I’m certain the world would collapse as we know it, people would be killing each other, people would be starving and dying from illnesses in which we have cures, the economy would falter, the Earth would be paying an enormous price for our actions, and we’d all be running around like little stressed out anxious atoms that are just bouncing off one another, reacting to one another’s angst, and generally perpetuating the status quo while all along missing out on being who we really are. Hmmm……
So here’s my favorite part of this, what I call the “What If Game”—which will be a regular part of my blog posts. So here goes…..what if we decided to give ourselves a gift (no…this does not make you selfish either!). What if that gift was giving yourself permission for ONE WHOLE DAY to be who you really are (and here comes the challenge) without judging yourself or your choices? You don’t have to tell anyone…it can be your dirty little secret (and mine, and everyone else’s out there that has the courage to try this).
What if for one whole day, you said to yourself, “[Insert your name here], I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning whenever I feel like waking up, and for the rest of the day only my own feelings will dictate any second of my day, AND I’m going to blissfully experience this in its most organic form without all of the qualifying statements.” What if you allowed yourself to act upon the impulses of your body—anything from when and what to eat (remember no judgments about your food choices for JUST ONE DAY!), to when and how much to sleep, bathe, masturbate, sing your favorite song at the top of your lungs, check your email, and anything else that your body tells you to “do” (or NOT do) for the day.
Sounds easy huh? I’m here to tell you that I just tried this and besides leading to the idea of the “What if” blog (don’t be surprised if you are inspired by some creative force..LISTEN to it!), it made me acutely aware of how often I CHOOSE to attach a rule or “should/should not” statement to my choices in life. These statements are the moments when we are creating our own meaning in our lives, and this “meaning” then drives our next choice and the next and the next. You’ll become aware of how often you choose something that “follows the rules” instead of choosing something because it “feels right at that moment.” Essentially, we’ve stopped listening to the very voice that actually knows best…OURSELVES (the body not so much the over-used brain, but we'll save that topic for a later blog post).
I know I know…maybe you’re thinking, “Yes Michele, this all sounds fine and dandy if you’re talking about “Pollyanna Land,” but what if someone feels like physically hurting someone else…does that make hurting someone alright?”
First of all, this is a very valid question, but it’s a "which came first, the chicken or the egg" question too—one that I had to grapple with as well. So if you’re wondering this, I’m going to ask you to spend some time pondering my next question.
Do you think if we exercised the privilege of being who we really are (and our culture supported the idea that it was every person’s birthright to express themselves authentically at all times), that we would all feel so much anger and hatred towards one another, or feel like harming one another, or do you think harmony and community would be the status quo?
Are you aware that you are worth trying this? You are worth just one day to be who you really are out of your entire lifetime. And to be honest, you're worth an entire lifetime of being who you are.