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  • Writer's picturedavidauten

Being You is Difficult

Being you is difficult. No one knows this better than you. Nor can you escape this difficulty. Everywhere you go, there you are. When you actually begin listening to yourself at first you may not like what you hear. You may hear nothing, which can be frightening, or, you may hear the opposite: a cacophony of inner voices whose competing claims, and discordant desires, add to your sense of dismay. It takes time to hear the music in your life, the unique melody echoing through the airways each morning as you step into the day. The notes come drifting in barely audible, a few at a time, gradually revealing tones, chords, and a native song whose origin is a mystery yet soothing all the same.

Learning to listen to yourself takes time, and compassion, accepting the invitation to an entirely relaxed posture, one that is willing to forego self-judgment, as well as those external voices that have their own signature sounds but are not your own. The chief element of happiness lies in wanting to be who you are, not another, observed Erasmus. Tuning in to the wisdom and folly of others without attending to your own only mutes the harmony that otherwise arises through the instrumentation of our lives. Being is difficult, and shared, without discrimination, sleeping in the beds of the rich and poor, couched in the lives of the privileged and disadvantaged. There have always been rumors of a new god, a promise of someone or something that would save you from your difficulty: messiahs and medications, treatments ancient and modern. But your ability to hold within yourself this difficulty is a key human discipline, one that unlocks your great potential. Holding it close, moving beyond acceptance to an embrace, you bear witness to the emergence of an authentic composition that has never been heard before nor ever will be again.

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