Just the way I am
Just the way I am
Is it really ‘just the way you are?’
All too often I hear these words ‘oh it’s just who I am’ or ‘it’s just the way I am’ in response to a certain behaviour or what may be called a personality trait. It’s a statement of resignation to the possibility of any other way, it’s an ingrained idea that it’s part of your inherent make-up and there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it. ‘It’s just the way I am’ can be a statement of regret and equally a statement of identification and even one of pride and celebration.
To give you an example, a person can call themselves a night owl – meaning they like to stay up at night until all hours and because they cannot remember not being this way, they will very easily make the statement ‘oh it’s just the way I am, it’s always been this way’. If challenged on this statement offering the possibility of working towards a different rhythm with their sleep, more often than not there will be a brick wall in return as they see no possible way that this could change because they are convinced that it is ‘just the way they are’.
We could use so many examples here, like someone who doesn’t have a good relationship with money. The organization of money stresses them out, they spend as quickly as it comes in, they try every now and then to budget and save but it never works. It’s a familiar pattern that has been playing out for ‘a lifetime’ and perhaps they had a parent who was the same – all the more reason to justify the statement of this being just the way it is. Complete resignation of there being any other way because every other way has failed.
Or what about the person that has a temper. They react in certain situations particularly when things appear to be unjust or unfair. They did this as a child, all the way through adolescence and now as an adult they find it comes out directed at their partner and their kids. Perhaps this person recognises that this is a problem and wants to change their ways – but in the back of their mind they wonder how this is possible other than having to use a truck load of self-control, seeing as these feelings have become part of who they are. They don’t really know themselves without the reactions and the temper.
Let’s change it up a little bit and look at a person who is nice, polite and does everything for everyone. They are dependable, never say no and always seem to be available for everything. Sounds pretty good right? I’m sure that not only would this person very much identify with this being ‘just who they are’ but all those around them would also be championing that this is the way they have always been because I’m quite certain this would suit many people to have this kind of friend, mother, brother or whoever.
We accept all flavours of ‘who we are’ and ‘who someone else is’ because it is familiar. We accept that we may be complacent, lazy, driven, a high-achiever, messy, insanely neat and tidy and so many other things because they are familiar territory without stopping to question the why or how and the possibility of these behaviours and traits being learned over time rather than innate from the get-go. And in doing this, we avoid and miss out on so much because we have an excuse to remain in the reduction of what may otherwise be super grand, deeply healing and life enriching.
Let’s consider the ‘night owl’ person again. In their conviction of this being the way it is and this just being who they are, they resign to this behaviour night after night avoiding the responsibility factor that would have them considering the impact that it is having on their body. Or maybe they do consider this but are resigned to it anyway because according to their beliefs, there is no other way out. It is very likely that they may be experiencing some health issues. Studies have shown that going to bed late can contribute to a multitude of cascading health effects such as high blood pressure; less likely to exercise; may lead to weight gain; higher risk of developing diabetes; linked to depression and mood disorders; associated with alcohol and tobacco and may be linked to earlier death.
I love bringing people back to the design of their bodies, bringing their awareness back to how it all works. If we look at sleep for example, there is an exquisite design in how this works and how our body supports this process. It takes an enormous amount of refutation and upheaval of this design to make it work any other way than the harmony it was built for. There are very specific hormone releases in response to the rising and setting of the sun that bring our bodies into a natural flow of rest (repose) and activity (motion). But, should we live in a way where our nervous system is constantly stimulated, where we don’t eat supportive and nourishing foods and/or don’t listen to what our body is communicating – then we bring disturbance to the system.
The system has not failed, the system is not defunct, nor is the system broken – it is simply disturbed by the insistence of our disharmonious movements. And when insistence becomes more and more familiar, we are justified in saying ‘it’s just the way I am’ to abdicate ourselves from the responsibility of the inevitable outplay.
This is not wise. It is incredibly irresponsible on one level, but we’ve likely not been shown another way. The most beautiful opportunity is when we are honest enough to consider that perhaps this is not just the way we are, we realise that we have the grace of having taken every one of those steps to get to that point.
Which means we have the map, the key and the wisdom to retrace every one of those steps that takes us back to the way we actually and naturally are, rather than who we may have allowed ourselves to become.
It is wise to question the ideas we have about ourselves and who we are and what we have accepted as normal.
Are you born with lack of self-worth and not feeling enough?
Is this really just the way you are?
Or is it something you have taken on over time.
And if it is something you have taken on through whatever experiences you may have had, would it not make sense that you can also take it off?
That it is in fact not who you are. Likewise, you may describe yourself as lazy and complacent, or not good with money or someone who has a temper, or even someone who does everything for everyone else before themselves. Really?
Is this really true?
Again, these are things that you may have taken on and yes, they may be a reality but are they really inherently who you are? The answer is no, they are not.
Your original design would never have you forego looking after the preciousness and sacredness of yourself in order to be there for others – because what will be there for others if not the disregard, emptiness and utter exhaustion? And the original design knows that you holding yourself as sacred IS the everything that everyone needs, which naturally and inherently moves to be there for others, in all ways and always.
Have you ever held a newborn baby and thought to yourself, wow they are so lazy and I can see now they are going to spend a lifetime thinking really badly of themselves? No, not likely!
The wholeness and purity of a newborn baby should be the biggest wake-up call or clue as to who and what we truly are because we were once that. That wholeness and purity is always with us – it is simply about peeling back the layers of adjustment that we have allowed to become our normal and re-adjust back to the original design of our body and being. Taking those steps back in, whilst discarding all the ideas you had settled for, will be the most enriching, nourishing and truly satisfying steps you will ever take.