Be Your BEST Self - whatever the f*ck that means...
I see a lot of buzz in the social media world about living your best life and being your best self, but it seems from my perspective, that what I'm seeing is a lot of self-destructive or sabotaging behaviors connected with these words.
When I see someone chugging vodka straight from the bottle or stuffing their face with an entire pizza with the caption "living my best life" I can't help but wonder... "really? are you?". Please understand, I'm not judging. Vodka martinis are one of my faves and I'm not one to shy away from a slice or two of a pepperoni and mushroom pizza. I just also know that when I drink or eat in excess, I feel like dogshit and I wouldn't attribute that to living my best life. Quite the opposite. Living our best life requires living as our best self.
I also see a lot of posts from people who proudly share their so-called imperfections and boast their constant work to be "better" as they are on their way to being their BEST self. They express their need to get a better body, so they are following their reduced calorie meal plan and pushing hard at the gym. They talk about how they are lonely and they're working on being the kind of person who will attract their soulmate. Again, I'm not judging. I'm all about eating healthy foods and moving my body. I'm also all about working on my communication skills so that I can have a strong relationship with my partner.
However, if my mindset is that my body isn't good enough then I'm moving it for all the wrong reasons, and I might even overexert myself to the point of injury. I might also feel like eating healthier foods is a form of punishment for the terrible state I've allowed my body to reach. If my mindset is that I'm not good enough to attract a partner and experience the joy of a romantic relationship, then I might be constantly putting myself down or even jumping into relationships that aren't right for me because I believe it's all I "deserve".
The point I'm getting at is, I think somewhere along the way, we've confused ourselves about what it means to live our best life or to be our best self. Does our best self eat and drink alcohol in excess? Probably not. Does our best self spend time thinking about all the ways we aren't enough or berating us for not being perfect? I'm gonna say no. To be our best self, we must first understand our true and authentic self. Being our best self is a completely unique concept for each individual person. The reason for that is it stems from authenticity.
When we are born, we are already our best self. Overtime, we lose sight of our already perfect existence because of all the various perspectives, filters, programming, and constant stream of matter-of-fact statements about who we are that came from the people around us. At some point in our life, we must take responsibility for ourselves and fully own our circumstances by recognising that we are who we choose to be. We must realise that we have chosen to be who people have told us to be or who people have said we should be. As soon as we understand and accept the fact that we have a choice in who we are. We can choose to be ourselves exactly as we are and not as we think we should be.
This can be an exceedingly difficult concept to embrace and understand, especially for those of us who have been walking around in these meat suits for several decades, because our minds and hearts have been so cluttered with the nonsense from everyone around us who insist they know who we are. When I think about the history of my existence, I can recall numerous instances of someone close to me telling me who I am. My mom says I'm stubborn, my schoolteacher says I'm lazy and have a bad attitude, my classmates' parents say I'm a bad influence, my sister says I'm a dork, my boyfriend says I'm needy, my next boyfriend says I'm cold hearted, my next boyfriend says I'm a control freak, and so on, and so on, and so on...
Of course, after years of all this shit being fed to us, we might have some trouble digging in and recognising who we really are. It requires a lot of work, a willingness to experience emotional turmoil, and a steadfast determination to keep showing up for ourselves, no matter what, until we have been fully unleashed. It can be a painful process, and it can also be an unbelievably joyous one. It ebbs and flows as the shifting and unfolding takes place and our authenticity is slowly but surely revealed.
Being our BEST self is truly a lifelong process because who we are is ever changing. The more we uncover and release as we seek to reveal our authenticity, the more our experiences add to the pile. Who I am today is not the same person I was yesterday and who I'll be tomorrow will only have a vague memory of who I am now. We are all just copies or impressions of a past version of ourselves and we get to choose each day to be 100% ourselves and whatever that means for us in that moment. It involves a lot of allowing and accepting of the present and a willingness to make conscious choices rather than living on autopilot.
So, the invitation here is to pause and connect with that feeling in your gut that is trying to steer you in the direction of your purpose and your truth. To seek the lessons being taught to you through your emotions. To fully embrace yourself as a whole and perfect being as you are in this moment. To live each day for yourself and yourself alone. To choose your true self over someone else's idea of who you're supposed to be, including your own.
We are all perfect, just as we are, if we only allow that to be.