Having watched "The King's Speech" last night, courtesy of Netflix, I'm fired up about finding our own voices. (It's a great movie; see it, if you haven't already.)
What keeps us from saying, doing, or feeling what we want to? Often, nothing but a fear of being different, going against the grain, marching to the beat of our own drummer, defying an authority figure.
Yet here's the strange thing: almost everybody adores individualists, people who express themselves creatively, freely, spontaneously, courageously.
So why isn't each of us the person we love from the outside, but may fear to be on the inside? We've only got one ticket on this Carnival Ride of Life. It doesn't last forever. Why not laugh outrageously, smile broadly, have as much fun as possible?
Here's one reason why we hold ourselves back from being who we want to be: in the past, we've looked upon that person judgmentally, not knowing that one day he/she would be me.
Many years ago, twenty maybe, I remember going to an art gallery where, at an evening reception, food and drink were being served. At the time I didn't drink alcohol, because this was forbidden by the tenets of the meditation system I was following (that of Radha Soami Satsang Beas).
Holding a glass of non-alcoholic fruit punch, I started to browse the art work. Then -- shock! -- I saw a fellow member of my spiritual organization holding a glass of wine. Instantly I thought, "Oh, no. He's fallen off The Path. He's lost The Way. Poor guy."
Now, I drink a glass of red wine almost every night. It's good for my health. It relaxes me. I've become the person I warned myself about, the title of a blog post I wrote more than seven years ago. And I'm happy that I am, as noted in a follow-up post.
Have you ever done something that you said you’d never do? I certainly have. I bet you have too. Such is a mark of flexibility, open-mindedness, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
Only astoundingly rigid people continue to live their lives in the same fashion for many years or decades, doing the same old things, holding the same old beliefs, projecting the same old personalities.
I've also considered another question: "Shocked at my past beliefs, should I disown me?" No, of course not. I just should feel happy that I'm growing, changing, maturing. As fearlessly as possible.