We all live lives divided.  We have two people within us, each vying for control.  One is the person we think we should be, who says and does what is safe and expected.  The other is the person we long to be, the one who lives a life beyond our wildest dreams.  We fear we cannot ever be that person, so instead we fall back on what we usually do, on what we think we are supposed to do.

The person you long to be is who you really are.  Do you wish you were more adventurous, more daring, more outgoing?  Then that is your true self, and the side of you that turns away from risk is a mask.  Do you want to be creative, or strong, or nurturing?  You would not wish for it if it was not already inside you, fighting for your attention.

Does your true self feel far away, impossible to cultivate?  Begin with something small.  Start slowly; allow yourself to practice being who you were meant to be.  One of the happiest days of my life was when I decided to simply accept that I was who I wanted to be, that all the qualities I longed for were already mine.  I began by pretending that was true, by acting as if I was the person I most wanted to be.  The role fit like a glove.  I found that, once you begin, it is surprisingly easy to be who you really are.

The only trick is this–you cannot force yourself into a role you (or others) think you “should” play.  It will not fit; it will not make you feel happy, peaceful or free.  But when you play the role that is authentic to you, you find yourself growing into your dreams.

Loving Now

Would you be happy?  Then love where you are now.  Not later.  Not yesterday.  Not if only something was different.  Now, as it is, in all its imperfect perfection.

Wherever you are, however you feel, there is something to love.  And when you focus on that, rather than on what you think is wrong, you allow your awareness of love and beauty to grow.

When we focus on the love and beauty that is in front of us, we stop sending our energy into the past or future.  We do our part and let the Universe do the rest.  We accept the abundance.  We get out of the way.

The future is not under our control.  But in this moment, we have a choice.  We can appreciate what is, or we can push it away.  What will you choose?

Trust love.  Know that all you have is all you need, and that if what you want does not appear, it is because something better will.  The shadows of the past and future are not real, but this moment is.  This moment is sacred.  Choose to fill it with love.

Everything Begins Within

Years ago, alone on a long car trip, I mused about my ideal partner.  I saw someone compassionate and kind, easy with himself and able to put others at ease as well.  I saw someone gentle, open to new ideas, able to enjoy the simple moments of life and to help others do the same.  And then, in a flash, I realized–I wasn’t fantasizing about a love affair.  I was seeing a vision of who I wanted to be.

In both our daydreams and our waking lives, we often project onto others both our hopes and our fears.  We are annoyed by qualities we fear we possess; we long for people who embody the type of person we want to be.  But because no relationship can ever replace the one you have with yourself, you cannot find without what you have not found within.

Once we realize that, and learn to cultivate within ourselves the qualities we admire in others, we find that we are the ones we have been waiting for.  And that others who have those same qualities are drawn to us effortlessly, naturally, reflecting back to us the person we are, the person we have become.

You don’t need anyone to complete you; you are already complete.  Everything you long for, everything you long to be, is already a part of you, waiting for you to realize it.  I once played a game with family and friends, asking each one what quality they most wished they possessed.  Without exception, every single person answered with something that they not only already had, but had in abundance.  One, the soul of kindness and patience, wanted to be more kind and patient.  Another, always organized to the last detail, wanted to be more organized.  The life of the party wanted to be friendlier.  I said I wanted to be calmer, serene no matter the circumstances; everyone laughed.

Let your friends and partners be your playmates, sources of joy and strength in your life, but remember that everything you long for already exists within your own soul.  Once you do, you cannot help but find it everywhere you look.