"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus" - Mark Twain
If you're like me, you grew up playing in the dirt, inventing imaginary games (and friends), and were always thrilled to be outside. You lived in the present moment, able to lose yourself in the magic of the now. It was a blissful zone, where time was malleable.
As you grew older, comments from adults and peers began to temper your enthusiasm. The walls of cultural constructs, emphasizing work and responsibility, began to close in. "Be serious".
You were eased out of your playful lifestyle, encouraged to live predominantly within your mental body, where you either received accolades for excelling in academics and built an ego based on that success, or developed a negative self-image based on your "failure" to perform at certain standards. In either case, a False Self was born.
Today, as you navigate your way through life, you may have some awareness of who that False Self is, what they sound like, and how they rule your life. But, if you're like most people, this construct of Self is so insidiously "programmed" into your being that you can't tell the difference between its voice and the one True Voice you arrived on the planet with, that of your True/Higher Self.
The True Self is quick to play, is full of delight and wonder, and much joy. The True Self lives in the now and doesn't judge the world, but rather observes it, even marvels at it.
The False Self fears being judged by others, puts a stop to anything that might be deemed ridiculous (read: ridiculed), and keeps in line to conform to cultural strictures never voluntarily signed off on.
Consider the word serious: solemn, important, earnest, significant. Sub-text: credible, reliable, worthy of respect, accepted. Now consider the antonym of serious: LIGHT-HEARTED. Does that not just say it all? What a powerful testament to what has been sacrificed in most of our lives during the journey to adulthood. That is, a heart filled with light.
I see this a lot, as I help guide clients back to their True Selves. The powerful connection to the Higher Self begins not in the mind, but in the heart. There is a door there. Close your eyes and look for it. This door began to seal itself shut as you ventured forth in life, encouraged by well-meaning parents, religious instructors, and educators.
There was no real malice in their guidance. After all, they endured the same thing. Like foot-binding or female circumcision, societies enforce these gruesome cultural norms to "protect" their children from dishonor. In the same way, many of us have been guided to "get serious" and disconnect from our Heart Centers.
In doing so, we disconnected from our power and handed it over to others, to dictate our decisions for us. That abdication is so conditioned that it can be hard to identify how it's at work in our own lives. The key is to feel for resentment. Any time you experience this emotion, follow it back to its source and you will usually find a situation, an obligation, a relationship that your heart isn't in.
It's often culturally confronting to advocate for your needs, or to even "opt-out" of obligations and relationships that create resentment. The extent to which this notion creates resistance ("I can't do that ) or fear ("What will they think of me") in your being is a testament to the collective's power over you, or rather over the False Self.
The amazing truth is that your True, Light-Hearted Self is what is needed most right now on the planet. If you have the courage to deconstruct your False Self, you will help so many people in your life.
I hope that someday soon, children will be shocked to hear how people on Earth once lived, so disconnected from the power of their Heart Center and their Higher Selves… so serious.
Read more about Adrienne and how she plays with LIGHT at www.AdrienneTrapani.com.