We hear it all the time, “be true to your Self”. But what does that really mean? And how do we do it? Last week I wrote about how horses teach us to follow our intuition. Following our intuition is the answer to both questions. It is what guides us to our foundation, restores trust and faith within ourselves, and is the only path to true partnerships. The further away we are from our intuition the more off track our lives are.
We have two selves: our false “s”elf, or ego, and our True “S”elf. We have spent years laboriously building our false self. It is our fabricated and concocted persona that we show the rest of the world - it is our appearance, our roles, our success, our education, our race, our personal identity and self image. It is how we define ourselves as separate from others and it over defines itself as unique, special, and superior for outside approval.
Our higher or True Self is the indestructible part of ourselves, it is what makes you, you, it is the soul - our inherent dignity that no one can give you or ever take away from you. It is who we really are, without all the masks, labels, and personas.
Horses serve as “four-legged authenticity meters.” You can be dishonest with yourself and others, but a horse will see through all of your ego’s delusions; they are a mirror to our souls. You can’t fool them or change their opinion. A horse will call ‘em as they see ‘em.
The horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see. Sometimes you will.” Buck Brannaman
To be true to ourselves really means to be true to your higher True Self. Our purpose in life is to follow the road, the path, the light to our True Self, embody it and make a difference in this lifetime by expressing it.
A simple guide, as a rule of thumb, you can always tell if you are operating from your True Self or your false self by paying attention to when you are feeling offended. The false self is always offended, and your True Self can’t be offended, because there’s nothing to offend. Your True Self cannot be anything you need it to be or what others want it to be. It has already achieved its purpose in just by being itself, without having to do anything or be anything.
Your True Self has no capacity for selfish or separateness, it sees everything in wholes. The false self sees everything in hierarchies and in reference to it’s place in the hierarchy. Being true to our false self always results in selfishness, where as, being true to our True Self always results in self-fulfillment.
The false self is not bad or something to fear, attack or hate, rather it is something to be aware of. The false self is the raw material we fall through to find our True Self. I believe everything we encounter in life is used to help us grow and can be transformed to lead us to our True Self.
We don’t magically find our True Self. It is the struggle with the false self that brings us to our True Self. Our beauty, our bank accounts, and our success are all short lived, and can’t be what sustains us.
Our True Self gradually appears to us as we face the difficulties of this life head on; as we confront the masks and personas we wear, because keeping them only continue to hurt us and hold us back from our highest potential.
When there is nothing left to lose, we find the true self—the self that is whole, the self that is enough, the self that no longer looks to others for definition, or completion, or anything but companionship on the journey.” ~ Elizabeth Lesser
We are all on this same journey, which I believe is a lifelong process. I’ve never met someone who could be their True Self 24/7, we are all human with our doubts, fears, and insecurities. Yet, if we follow our inner compass, our intuition, once we know we’ve strayed from our path, it will drive you to evolve, leading you to creativity, innovation and change. Everything we do, create and learn is ultimately to lead us back to our True Self. We can fight it or embrace it, but it’s our path just the same.
Take a moment to journal on the following prompts. If you have horses, journal in their presence and observe their reactions to your answers.
- Who do I know my True Self to be?
- How is my false self controlling my life? How has it served you?
- What might become possible for you if you were to let go of your false self? How can I be more authentic, honest and show up more visibly in my life?