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.