Collective Reading January 14-20: The Path of Joy and the Authentic Self

This week we are mapping out the steps, taking steady action, and allowing things to take shape as they will. Keep in mind that the result may not look how you imagined it, when all is said and done. That’s a good thing.

Your hope for the future is only as good as your imagination allows. Your imagination is a rough draft of what will actually come to be. Don’t get stuck in the details, and don’t lose sight of what you really want.

You’re not chasing an outcome. You’re chasing a feeling. What if you win? What if you fail? Can you come home at the end of the day feeling satisfied either way? Master that inner feeling of satisfaction with your efforts, and your efforts will lose their urgency and simply become the next logical, joyful step.

Urgency has been the primary thing keeping you going for so long that you started to believe some untrue things. You started seeing yourself as inept, lazy, or tired by nature. You started feeling like there was no other way of being. Essentially, you put on the costume and accepted a role in a play, then forgot it was a play.

This role had you sacrificing your joy in order to get what you needed. Not because you wanted to, exactly, but because you believed it was the best way forward. Tell me if any of these examples of the stories we tell ourselves are familiar:

-You chose the harder path, which made you deserving of success (but secretly, you fear not having worked hard enough to succeed).

-You were the bigger person in an argument, and therefore you’re a good person, and/or worthy of being believed (but you aren’t always the bigger person, and that’s why you struggle to be accepted).

-You had to give more in order to receive anything (and being “in debt” makes you feel unworthy of love, as if you’ve withdrawn too much from a bank account).

When we act out these stories, we interact with the world as a False Self, created to fit an expectation. The False Self uses false words, false emotional states (think toxic positivity or chronic frustration), and participates in false stories that try to make you palatable to others. You weren’t lying; there is no shame in having been who you needed to be. You were simply acting the way you were taught to act, which was not in alignment with how you really felt, or what you really thought. Put another way, your frustration was real enough, but the source was identified incorrectly and it blocked your joy.

Now that you know more, let these false definitions of you go. As you embrace your Authentic Self, you will attract the life that actually makes sense for your thoughts and feelings.

This is the power of living your truth: what is meant for you finds you. What is not for you has nowhere to stick. You find nourishment and feel at home in yourself when you are true to you.

And while you had success drawing in things that were not 100% right for you, it is important to remember that your Authentic Self had enough gravity underneath the mask of the False Self to still draw in enough of what you needed. You survived, and it was enough. Now that you recognize a true desire, and have resolved to get it, surviving is not enough for you.

Joy and real success are every bit as important as you want them to be, and you are on a path that allows you to have them. But remember: the journey is the destination, and you can feel satisfied every step of the way. You can, because you are on the Path of Joy.

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