I have a fantastic book recommendation, it’s Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga by Rolf Gates.
The book is written in a way that you read a short passage daily. Last night, I came across the passage about the walls we create and the masks we wear. This passage taught me so much and I want to share my understanding of it. I hope by writing about it, I’ll absorb more of it.
In this passage the author writes, we as souls, are born into the world perfect, untainted, innocent and confident. Babies express emotions as they please. They cry as loud as they need to. They’re curious and playful. They can get grouchy. Do you think babies are concerned with, “is my umbilical cord ugly?” or “do I have too much knee fat?” Babies only care about needs for survival.
It is later that we become self conscious of our bodies, learn the rules of our gender, race and socioeconomic status, pick up our parents’ worries, live up to their expectations, discover others’ perceptions of us, etc. We have lost our confidence to be who we are. That is why we build walls to protect our insecurities.
We learn to compare ourselves. We learn to conform. We fear we’re not enough as we are. The world tricks us into believing we need more, we’re not enough until we’re more rich, more happy, more beautiful, more nice, more liked, more smart, more confident.
We forget that we already have everything we need to be okay. Being okay is really not bad. (If you think being okay is awful, it’s because the world is telling you what you need to be more than enough. See above.) We need to remember how to be okay with just being okay. 🙂 We forget that our true selves have always been and will remain perfect.
The journey into the self, is to let go of the ideas you learned about yourself. Let go of the false self or your learned self, which is your ego. The journey is a process of unlearning, undoing, unraveling, surrendering, tearing down, releasing–thus returning to your perfection, regaining the confidence you’re born with to be your true self. Let go of who you’re trying to be. Do the opposite of accumulating. Remove the mask you present to the world.
The bigger your ego, the more you have to prove to protect your ego, the higher the wall becomes, the thicker the mask.
Lastly, the author explains why people fall back into old patterns as they journey into themselves. As you begin to tear down the walls, you’re left to face the insecurities that led you to create them in the first place.
This was eye-opening for me because I’ve been stumbling despite the progress. This passage reminded me that stumbling is part of the journey and to show myself love, mercy and compassion–I really am going to be okay.
What is one thing you’ve taught yourself about yourself that you want to unlearn?