Freedom to be YOU!

By Nancy Pollard, LCSW, LLC
Nancy Pollard

Happy Summer, my friends and readers!

For mountain town people, summertime gives us freedom from bulky clothes, wool socks, and down parkas.  No more hiding extra pounds of flesh or covering up in heavy clothes.  Bare-naked (well, maybe not naked), and it made me start thinking of the freedom to be myself, exactly as I am, at my core.

Are you free to be yourself?  Or are you trying to be someone that you think you should be?

Freedom as a Child
Our job as a parent is to help discover and unwrap our child’s core self; to feed this small seedling until it grows into a distinguishable plant, perhaps finding surprise at just who this creature is!  To empower him or her to be exactly who they are, not who we think they should be, which is why it is important to give your child many opportunities to explore all parts of their being.

  • Did your parents encourage you to be YOU?
  • Were you given opportunities to discover your authentic talents? 

And what are you doing with YOUR children? 

  • Are you insisting that they do certain sports because you think they should?
  • Are you pushing them into math and science even if their talent is art and music?

Freedom in Sexual Orientation
Living a lie in regards to your sexual orientation only results in pain, confusion, and for some, sadly, suicide.

  • Were you free to discover your sexuality, and did it ever cross your mind that maybe you were attracted to the same sex?  If so, did it terrify you; did you try to stuff it down?
  • Did you have a gay sibling, parent, uncle, or aunt?  Were they ‘out’, or did they feel ashamed and stay in the closet?
  • Are you insisting and expecting that your child is heterosexual?  Are they?  Do they have the freedom to be openly gay, lesbian, or transgender if indeed they are?

Freedom in Your Relationship
We often begin a relationship by ‘auditioning’ for the role that we think the other is looking for.  But that usually wears off in about 3 months and our true colors begin to bleed forth, and then the relationship starts to become more honest and either continues or ends.  Why not show your true colors on the very first date?  If you are not liked for who you really are, it won’t last anyway…so let it go and move on.

  • If you are in a relationship, are you free to be yourself?  
  • Are you trying to be who you think you ‘should’ be in order to fulfill his or her dream of the ‘perfect mate?’

Our true self is eventually going to wiggle out, whether it happens in the early honeymoon stage or 10 years into a marriage or very late in life at age 75!

Freedom in the Workplace
Many people really want ‘do their own thing’ and live a more authentic life, free of rules and regulations.  The entrepreneurial spirit is tough to ignore.  If you have a law degree because everyone in your family was a lawyer, but in your heart of hearts you really want to open up a pizza joint, you will struggle.  Your bank account may soar but your heart will slowly die.
We want to work in an environment that embraces our natural talents and allows our true colors to shine.  If we dread going to work and painfully count the hours until the day ends, we are in the wrong place.  When time flies by at work, it is probably because we are doing what we love and are productive.

One of my favorite assessment tools is the Kolbe A Index.  It gives you the hard drive of who you are at your core; a birth certificate of another kind, identifying your natural talents and instincts and how to tap into and multiply the effect of your uniqueness.  It explains why you resist certain actions (like reading the fine print) and gravitate toward others (like the need to finish what you start).  It validates YOU and sheds light on how you show up in the workplace and in your personal life.

When you do not have the freedom to be who you are, depression will prevail.  Anxiety and addiction will be your partners; you will become depleted, discouraged, and lost.  If you have been walking down a path of ‘should’ and ‘have to’ and fear being shunned or shamed into thinking that who you really are is not good enough, you will suffer immensely on this journey called life. 

If you are free to be yourself, you will be content, fulfilled, and soar.

Find your tribe – people who understand and embrace you.  Listen to your heart - what does it really want?  Be true to yourself and pay attention to where you want to be, where time flies.

Don’t wait until ‘someday’ to be who you want to be.  Don’t follow someone else’s footsteps because you ‘should.’  Trust yourself.  Be brave.  Be free.  And remember: you truly are perfect, just the way you are.

Just a little Mountain Therapy

Copyright © 2016 Nancy Pollard



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