Nurture Your Nature #17
Choose who you want to be and nurture that.
The nurture, nature debate was something I first came across in a Psychology lesson at college where I lasted exactly one term.
Are we born as we are, a cocktail of genetics or is it because of the environment and the circumstances in which we were brought up that establishes our personality, lifestyle, decisions and potential for health and well-being?
It is now known that both are true. That we are born with some innate genetic characteristics and then depending on how we are brought up these two fundamental concepts mold who we are. Nurture AND nature.
But another very important aspect of how we evolve is Perception. When I was four years old my younger brother Steve was having a mega tantrum. He was holding his breath and steadily going blue. My four-year-old perception was that the adults didn't know what to do and it was safer not to show your emotions. These were decisions that became underlying beliefs that ran my life well into my forties. It’s not safe to show your emotions. Do not express how you really feel. They won’t know how to deal with it.
I am still learning how to feel and express my emotions. My brother on the other hand had no such inhibitions about this and continued to be a force of nature, expressing his needs and in many ways being more himself. While I was looking after the emotional needs of everyone else, he was looking after his own emotional needs.
Can you think of a time as a small child when you made a similar decision and can you see how it has impacted your life?
I believe we are all born with unknown potential and as we grow, and being naturally curious, and given the space and opportunity, we discover things in the world that make us come alive inside. Things that make us feel enthusiastic or excited. Things that feel deeply satisfying and rewarding for their own sake. These are the impulses to follow.
But caregivers, usually well meaning, often nurture the wrong things. They want us to be ‘good’ and fit into society like they do. They want us to like the things that they do, or do the things that they feel safe with and that will lead to a career that will pay the bills. Or they fail to nurture the things they can see we love because of their own lack of confidence and nurturing.
Taking responsibility for evolving our True Selves
We as adults have to untangle for ourselves what our true nature is and then nurture that.
Nurture our nature.
Nurture and cultivate the very essence of who we are. Start noticing what lights us up, what makes our hearts sing, who we’re jealous or envious of. Follow the impulses and breadcrumbs of knowing ourselves.
For me it's always been successful writers and artists but I never thought I would become one because… well you have to be practical don’t you. The signs and hints can be subtle but when we recognize them, are usually obvious and finally hit us like a thunderstorm.
Our parents and caregivers want us to be good citizens and to eventually be independent. They don't realize that this aim is being put above being happy. I remember when my brother became a teacher in his mid-twenties how he didn't agree with the pressure that children were being put under and for him, the bottom line was, ‘every child deserves to be happy.’
We fear losing relationships if we change
One of my biggest challenges in being my True Self has been the fear of losing my loved ones. It makes people feel uncomfortable when their loved ones change and can be scary for them too. If I change, (ie: become a full expression of myself) can they handle it? Will it affect my relationships such that I lose them and therefore the security I have? Will they stop loving me? Does it matter? What matters most? It all goes back to ancient times and the need to be part of a tribe to survive. Getting chucked out back then meant you died.
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Getting to a point where my well-being was top priority has been a revolution.
It’s taken years to unravel and realise that the bit that’s been missing is actually showing up and being who I am, rather than the person I thought I had to be. The person I thought I had to be, to be loved and to be a valid member of my family and society.
There have been a few conversations that have had to happen. I have a good relationship and one that we've both worked on. Some of the conversations have been challenging for both of us. But the love and acceptance and respect are still there as I grow more into myself.
As I delight in being my True Self it also ripples out to my sons. I see their smiles and eyes sparkle as they listen to my enthusiasm. I no longer think they are humouring me but are genuinely happy for me. I don’t think I could be a better role model for them than the one I am right now.
I am now supporting my True Self by carving out a life for myself as they prepare to leave the nest. As my husband and I get older and things have to change, I am intending to be able to support myself through my writing career. It's unlikely to work out exactly as I imagined. What does? But it's coming from a place that feels magnificent. It feels in flow and is a joy to pursue after all these years of seeking. It doesn't matter if it works out or not. What matters is I am being who I want to be right now, doing what I want to do, expressing my True Self in exactly the way that works for me. Enjoying each day, feeling more energized and whole.
It’s only taken me 56 years to get here!
I have finally found 'my thing!'
It ticks all the boxes for me. It's writing. It's expressive. It’s creative.
It's sharing my knowledge and profound life experiences and stories.
It's at times inspiring. It's unique. Because I am unique and no-one else can do it like me.
AND I LOVE IT AND THINK IT'S BRILLIANT AND DON'T REALLY CARE WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS!!! (Note: it’s taking a lot of courage to leave that in all caps to fully express how I feel).
I feel like I am getting to grips with it (the techy stuff), and feeling momentum growing. Last week I hit a milestone of 100 subscribers.
I wake up every day enthusiastic and motivated. Ideas keep flooding into my head.
I’m not making any money from it currently but that’s not the point!
I LOVE HOW IT LOOKS. I LOVE HOW IT FEELS WHEN I COME IN HERE AND LOOK AT IT. I LOVE THE PICTURES I HAVE CHOSEN. I LOVE READING MY STUFF BACK TO MYSELF (and often tweak things to make things clearer). I LOVE THE COLOURS. I LOVE WHAT I AM SAYING/SHARING. I LOVE THAT IT’S HELPING PEOPLE. I LOVE WHERE IT’S LEADING AND HOW IT’S EVOLVING.
I have never felt so committed to anything before. Except maybe to my family! Ha ha….
I FEEL LIKE THE CELLS IN MY BODY ARE LAPPING IT UP AND BOUNCING AROUND WITH GLEE!
I am so so happy!!!!
This is my happy. This is my True Self. This is my dream. This is what makes me come alive and makes my heart sing.
This is ME!
What about you? What is your happy? Do you want to join me?
I want you to Stop hiding who you are and come and join the True Self Revolution!
Introduce yourself HERE.
Where does your True Self come from?
The best way I can describe it, at the moment, is that it's an energy that comes through us.
If loved through us, it kind of lights up and ignites a feeling in us of flow, joy, a warm glow of excitement, enthusiasm and satisfaction.
A feeling of yumminess.
It's nourishing and feeds us and expands rather than contracts.
We want to explore it more and do it more when we feel it in our bodies.
We evolve and grow from it. Become who we're meant to be.
It feels like coming home to ourselves.
Happy in our own skin.
Confident in our decisions.
A sense of knowing and a deep ‘yes’ at our core.
It's a sustainable flow of energy neither too high or too low.
In fact it gives us more energy.
It’s like a meandering river in summer, wide and full of life, moving and sometimes resting but always certain of its direction.
It is our minds that get in the way of this. The shoulds, oughts and have tos from societal conditioning. Limiting beliefs that were created in childhood before we could understand things fully. And fear.
But when we are finally committed, our minds eventually begin to settle and we're no longer working it out from there. The mind becomes a vehicle for taking action, led by the inner knowing of the gut and heart brains.
If you want to know more about our gut and heart brains (yes it is a scientific fact that our guts and hearts are indeed brains) take a look at the information in the Heartmath Institute.
So if you are born with certain characteristics (Nature) that get blended with how your parents’ and care givers brought you up (Nurture) and you have unconscious, unuseful beliefs hidden in the mix caused by your limited Perceptions at the time, how on earth do you work out who you really are?
Who are you?
You are a mixture of all these things. And you choose.
You choose by being ruthlessly, compassionately honest with yourself.
By not settling for anything less than being the person you wish to be.
By not settling for being what others want you to be or how others want you to spend your life.
You go and try stuff out. You get educated. You go on courses.
You listen to others who are different to you.
You read about and listen and watch others who you admire or envy. You speak to them if you can.
The most important thing is, you go inside yourself and listen to your inner knowings.
You notice symptoms and get curious about why you get these symptoms.
You listen when you are tired and rest.
You listen when your body wants to move or pee or stretch and do it.
You follow those impulses over and over until you get to the unashamedly magnetic impulses of your own authenticity.
You do more of the things you love, more of the time.
You find ways of enjoying the things you have to do, whilst being aware of the the things you may not really have to do and choosing whether you will continue to do them or not.
You stop trying to help and rescue everyone else and take radical self-care and self-love seriously.
You have firm boundaries with your loved ones and drop the guilt. They don’t need it and it’s crippling for you.
You’re clear that You’ve already done enough.
You don’t allow emotional blackmail any presence in your life.
In short, You take full responsibilty for being the fully expressed human that You came here to be. You unapologetically love Yourself into a state of pure aliveness and joy. You embrace all that You are, including the darker side of your humanity.
HONOUR YOUR ENERGY.
Let me know how you’re getting on in the comment.
From my True Self to Yours
P.S. I want to get to know YOU and for us to build this COMMUNITY together.
Sharing our thoughts, ideas and struggles on what it means to be our True Selves; what stops us and what needs to happen for us to Nurture and Nourish our Flourishing. To Thrive rather than just Survive.