When did you decide to hold yourself back? When did you say you'd only
dip a toe in the water from now on rather than diving in
wholeheartedly, rather than jumping in unabashedly, rather than
throwing yourself in unreservedly? When did you start believing you
should "keep to yourself" rather than share yourself generously? When
did you figure out it was safer suppressing
who you really are
rather than letting it all hang out for all the world to
see? When did you first get the misguided concept being stoic is
You did that. Tell the truth now. You know you did that. You made a
decision (which you told yourself at the time was a smart
decision) to withdraw from Life, to withhold your full
expression, to hide your light (as the
I-Ching may have said). You may not have made that
decision yesterday. You may not have made that decision last week. It
may not have been last month or last year even. I'll bet
you made that decision no later than your early teenage years. More
likely, you decided to play it safe and keep out of Life's
way some time before you were eight years old.
But whenever it was, whether it was some time before you were eight
years old or whether it was yesterday, you figured out it was just
plain clever (as if it was the lesson you were
supposed to learn) to not be fully
expressed in Life. So you off-ed yourself.
And you've been off-ed ever since.
When we make a decision at an early age to off ourselves,
it becomes entrenched in the way we do anything and everything from
then on. It becomes what we know about how we should be.
In other words, it becomes built in to our
From then on, there's no longer a conscious choice whether
or not to participate fully in Life, or whether or not to hold back.
From then on, we hold back because holding back is on
automatic. From then on, it's like a reflex. From then on, it's
simply the right thing to do. We may even justify holding back
rather than going all out by saying it's the proper thing
to do. We may even say it's the polite thing to do.
However it's framed, not much creative thought or responsibility goes
into to it. From then on, we may even say about holding back "It's
just the way I am.".
points out it's not the way you are. It's just
a way you are. It's just a way you're
being. And the trouble with being that particular way is it was
invented by an eight year old. Any
adult has no
of an eight year old to dictate what's possible for them in Life.
So tell me: when did you off yourself? And when are you
going to give yourself permission to participate fully again? When are
you going to allow yourself to be fully
expressed again? I mean wholeheartedly. Unabashedly. Unreservedly. I
mean nothing held back.