The Ideal Self - Ideal Life
"The difficulty with this conversation is that it's very different from most of the ones I've had of late. Which, as I explained, have mostly been with trees." - Douglas Adams (And Woodpeckers) - Lynx
So, who are you? I mean, who are you really, in your heart of hearts and deep down within your Soul? Who are you when you are all alone with yourself, no
one is looking and you can be anyone that you desire to be? Who is the person you really long to be or do you even know? Have you allowed the expectations
and desires of others, society,to cloud the person that you truly are or from time to time does the real you peek out and announce her - himself when things
feel safe and no one else is watching?
One of the things I hear most from others is how much they have a goal they wish to achieve or an experience they deeply desire to create. It may be that
this goal or ideal is something the person has held within themselves for years and not having found expression for it, they keep submerging it back into the
depths of themselves. Down, down, down it goes but the thing with our true desires is that they are Soul, they are part and parcel of who we truly are and as
such they have incredible buoyancy. They must, can and will re-surface and often when we have given up on ever obtaining them and instead have pointed
ourselves in a safer direction. They do this because they have a message for us. We are wasting the time and energy we could be putting into creating the
Ideal Life we really desire in favor of the mediocre, the less than. We do this primarily from fear, fear that what we seek is unacceptable to "someone
else", maybe even many "someone elses", all of whom really need to go mind their own business and stay out of ours to begin with.
Yet there is something within us that longs to be true to Itself and only Itself, because It has a wisdom and purpose for the things that It desires to be,
create, experience and do. It cares not for the opinions of others, for what are those but too often misguided beliefs of others who have also submerged
themselves, their True Selves, and thus can only operate from what they believe "should" be instead of what could be.
Far too few people ever sit down and ask themselves "who am I"? We have hats and labels that we put on ourselves and others (I am a mother, a sister, a
husband, a bookworm, a musician, an accountant, you get the idea). We were born to a given set of parents on a given date and place but that doesn't tell us
who we are. We have had life experiences, some Good, even wonderful and some downright horrible but those things do not tell us who we are. Some of us and in
truth, many of us DO identify ourselves with those experiences for Good or ill and thus we re-create them over and over again. Leading us ever further
astray from the Ideal Self and the Ideal Life we have come here to live. Things have happened to all of us but those things don't tell us WHO we are, only
what we have EXPECTED from Life itself. Once we grasp this then we can change our expectations of life over time and yet the only way this will truly work is
if we are also willing to recognize and allow the Ideal Self as it desires to be expressed through us. For it IS who we are, though it may not always appear
to be made of Light and Perfect, but it is authentic, it is real and it has a Wisdom that far surpasses what our rational, human minds can possibly
comprehend. We never need fear the Realization of the Ideal Self but to seek it out and give it full expression as best we can. For this is what will lead us
into our Ideal Lives as well.
The Ideal Self is really your Authentic Self. The Ideal Self seeks to express in ways that are Authentic and real to her - him. It must at some point because trying to be anything else is so contrary to Its True Nature which of course is your own, that eventually you have a result similar to this;
"In fact, a very similar phrase was invented to account for the sudden transition of wood, metal, plastic and concrete into an explosive condition, which was "nonlinear, catastrophic structural exasperation," or to put it another way--as a junior cabinet minister did on television the following night in a phrase which was to haunt the rest of his career--the check-in desk had just got "fundamentally fed up with being where it was." - Douglas Adams from the Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
We have all had our lives blow up on us in one way or another and why we blame the usual suspects, ourselves, someone else, the reality is we simply became "fundamentally fed up with being where it was", where we were, and so we use the "blow-ups" in our lives as a way to escape from the lies and facades that we may embrace the True, the Real and the Authentic. If we are wise enough to understand this is what is really happening and all too often, sadly, we are not.
The first step is to recognise the Ideal Self within each of us, with all It's own peculiar quirks, strivings and longings, with all of His-Her desires to be, do and express in the world that may or may not seem to be "fit" with those around us. Scary stuff. Terrifying stuff. It means if we unleash this from within us, our lives will change. There will be a debris field. Someone somewhere may not be too happy with us, especially if they have been using us to keep them from working things out in their own lives by trying to manage and direct ours. We may actually break free and fly while the rest of the world stays cemented to the ground. And that my friends, is a sure way to upset a whole lot of folks who don't have the courage to free themselves. And you can't care about any of that, because the debris field is made up of all the bits and pieces that are not serving you, others or the world. When people start to express who and what they Truly are, it shakes the world, it rattles it down to its very axis and that wobble spirals outwards to rattle the chains of all others who are also now ready to break free. The "evil" is the only thing that is destroyed for all that is Good, True, Authentic, can survive this.
I will start by expressing here some of what makes up The Ideal Me, the Authentic Me. She isn't "perfect", but She is real.
I am all too aware of my own Ideal Self. I know what she looks like, how she speaks, how she walks, acts and moves. I am aware of what drives her to be and
express, and I am also all too aware of how I have suppressed and kept her locked down, only to have her escape from the prison-asylum in which she has been
contained for far too long. She escaped and emerged when I took up weight lifting ("women don't DO that sort of thing, you will end up looking like Ahnold
for the Love of all that is Holy!") Not going to happen unless I go on the "juice", the chemical cocktail that leads so many to ruined health in the end.
Natural is fine with me and every ounce of muscle I gain is fairly mine, squarely earned. Why should I give a flying monkey what someone else thinks of it?
At 55 I am far healthier than many people half my age. That is good enough for me. My Ideal Self Loves it. It is part of HER natural expression in the world.
And isn't that what really counts? I have good genetics for body building and weight training in general so why shouldn't I use that to my advantage? yet it is amazing how upsetting it is for a lot of people to think that some women do this sort of thing.
I am deeply Introverted, a "Thinking Introvert" and an INFJ according to the Myers-Briggs test. (Google it if you are curious to find out what your own
personality type is). For far too many years I did my best to "fit in" to be like "everyone else" to be "normal" what ever the cornbread hell that is. I'm
not. I never will be. I will never value things over people as so much of the world appears to do. I will never care for "chit chat", buying the latest fashion at the mall, what kind of car someone drives or gossip or any of the
to me meaningless conversations and focuses that so many others seem to put so much value upon. I could care less when all is said and done. What I DO care
about is who you and me and everyone else really is when we drop all the societal masks and baloney and choose to be authentic and say "This is what matters
to me as an individual expression of the Divine". Whether what ever that is appears to "fit in" with what the rest of the world deems as being "of value" or
not doesn't really matter. Not to the Ideal Self that is you, not to the Ideal Self that is me. Weight Lifting for me feels authentic. For you it may feel
authentic to take up Yoga or Rugby. And does it matter? Oh you bet it does! It may be one small piece of who you are and yet that one small piece is the
start of living from the expression of your Ideal Self which will lead you into your Ideal Life.
I freely admit that my Ideal Self may seem odd, eccentric or even insane to much of the world. She loves the German language and sees it as being utterly and
totally romantic. And yes, she-I have made people laugh when I have expressed this while standing in line at a supermarket. She-I loves to walk, for hours,
anytime, anywhere, all weathers, especially when it is storming and windy and the rain is pouring down, and needs it as much as breathing. And preferably
solo. Fearless in any neighborhood and strangely enough, rarely is a problem encountered. When there is, it is swiftly and easily taken care of. She-I
sometimes say or do things that catch others completely off-guard, out of the wild blue yonder and resulting in nervous laughter or shocked facial
expressions "how could you say - do that, didn't know you had it in you". She wants to tell people the Truth as she sees and knows it to be, not always what
they want to hear. They are always free to take it or leave it too as they see fit. She isn't here to change anyone, only to open the door so the other
person can walk through it if they so choose.
My Ideal Self knows what is really going on with others even though She doesn't always express it and at times pretends that she doesn't see it. But she
does, and she is aware and she knows that it isn't up to her to make the other accept it. She can hold the space for that realization on their behalf and
that is about it. Accused of being "secretive, inexpressive", belonging to "the zipper lip tribe" and yet it suits her. It is authentic to Her-me and when
the situation and the person is right, she can be very forthcoming and expressive. But only to those who have "earned the right" to enter her private
sanctum. Being able to contain and hold and provide a safe shelter for the energy that is truly me allows Manifestation to occur, Manifestation of more of
that which is for me my "Ideal Life". For someone else, the process may be much different and yet is authentic and right for them. And that is what matters.
Not the process itself, not who is right by using what ever method or tool presents itself. It is through the feeling "this is authentic and True for me.
This is what feels great when I do it, when I revere it, when I honor it, no matter what anyone else says or believes."
My Ideal Self requires a great deal of time alone. She requires this in order to dream, big dreams, to search for meaning and answers. She needs it to
re-charge and to fill the well from deep within herself. She can go off for days, weeks, even months and asks only that she be left in Peace to do and be as
she will. She gladly returns the favor. She Loves other people, she Loves to spend time with those who can honor, respect and allow her to be who she is. But
not 24-7. She is part Virgina Woolf with a "room of her own", part Elise Cowen, known but not known, even part "Ahnold" in her dedication to her goals and
determination to surmount any obstacle. She is part Agatha Christie in her love of mysteries, and her ability to hide herself away when life and creative
expression requires it. She Loves to do the housework, cook, bake, (Julia Child, step aside!) yet she also Loves to do construction work and is actually rather Good at it, coming up
with solutions to problems that had puzzled someone who had been a General Contractor of many years standing.
My Ideal Self Loves to read, anything and everything from Dickens to popular fiction, history, biographies even in the past a Barbara Cartland or two. Peace
loving, yet an avid World War II and War Between The States buff. Military strategy fascinates her and she has found ways to use it to overcome problems and obstacles in ways that are peaceful and meaningful. Or to declare "war" when someone she loves is under enemy fire. Everything that is authentically herself sometimes seems diamterically opposed to every other aspect
of her authentic Self. Yet she knows how to make it all work when I let her.
And when I let her, ah that is when the magic happens! That is when the different elements of my own Ideal Life as She - I envision it begin to appear. The
trick is not to allow myself to fall back into the old patterns of trying to "fit in" and instead, allow her to express and lead the way. Which is really why
I have shared here what I have about myself. In all honesty, it is very uncomfortable for me to do. How comfortable is it for anyone to say "This is who I
am, take it or leave it, but I refuse any longer to hide the Truth of who I really am. Because who I really am is my Ideal Self and from this moment forward
I am determined to allow her-him full expression in my life. I am doing this so I can live the Ideal Life that is mine to live and the only, only, only way I
can do that, is to BE my Ideal Self first. (Read that last part again. Burn it into your brain. It is the key to your own Ideal Life) Then things begin to fall into place and Woodpeckers come knocking at my front door" (Literally. One showed up
this morning as I was thinking about writing this article and was banging away at the front door for all it was worth) and other magical things happen.
So this is all my round about way of saying to you that the only way you can live your own Idea Life is to be your own Ideal Self first. That takes courage
and yes, you are probably going to piss some people off. So be it. You aren't here to make someone else happy because you can't. Oh sure, you can try but it
won't work, not for long anyway. And you will end up upsetting those very same people in the end anyway so you may as well go ahead and get on with it now.
You already know deep down who your Ideal Self really is. Sure, you may need some validation along the way, after taking the Myers-Briggs test for the 20th
time I finally accepted that INFJ is what my Ideal Self came here to express even though the "trying to fit in me" hates it. And that is okay too. Because
the part of me that wants to try and be "normal" sure hasn't done me any favors. If anything, it has caused me an awful lot of misery. Finally accepting
myself as I AM, who I truly AM, was liberating and freeing and I suddenly realized that I wouldn't have it any other way. Life is filled to the brim with
magical adventures and paths yet unknown and the only way we can gain access to the fullness of it all is to be real. Authentic. The Ideal Self whom ever
that may be for you.
I want you to take some time and think about who your Ideal Self is. What are his-her interests? What are the things that Ideal Self would dearly love to do
that has you saying "Oh, I could NEVER do that!" I bet you could. The world needs you to do those things. Because the world is filled with all sorts of
things that are terribly inauthentic and those things are doing horrible damage to you, me and everything and everyone else. You may not see why or how the
things your Ideal Self longs to be, have and do could have any positive impact and maybe that isn't for us to know right now. Maybe all that is really
important is that you will be one more person striving to be authentic and real and not part of the "mold" that society in one aspect or another has
determined is the "right" way to be. Your Ideal Self and Life might not be what another would choose but that is because they have their own Ideal Self and
Life to lead.
And so it is up to you now to sit down with your own Ideal Self and figure it out for yourself. You can and you will because if you have read this far,
living a life of mediocrity is just not for you. And it shouldn't be for anyone else either. It sure doesn't have to be.
There are steps you can take and I will be covering those in the next article, Quality in, Quality Life. I really wish there were simple easy answers to
making this all work but there just isn't. yet I can promise you that if you take the first step in that direction, the answers will come and you will know
and your life will change. Maybe tomorrow or the next day Woodpecker will come knocking at your front door. Open it. Opportunity awaits!
I have labored over this article in hopes that it will make sense to someone somewhere, that it will strike a chord in someone that will set them free to be their Ideal - Authentic Self as well. It wasn't easy for me to write, because like Douglas, I have been having very different conversations recently, mostly with trees, Woodpeckers, an inamnimate object in the window of a shop on Goldsboro St. named Eddie and a neighbors cat named Yellow Bird.
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