Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Owning My Own Self

Owning My Own Self

In the yore days, I was terrified most of the time. One of the things that frightened me the most was the fear that you would catch me out, that you would discover that I was a fraud. I would look at what seemed to be your perfect life, and look at my insides with all my insecurities and fears and failings and wonder how on earth I would ever make it through a day without being caught.

Why am I authentic? How do I know I am the real thing?

So many of us feel like phonies. For some of us, the more we achieve, the more fraudulent we feel. The more we know, it seems, the more we feel like we are pretending.

In the yore days, I didn’t know how to do a lot of stuff; I saw other people doing things that I needed to do. How to be a grownup was a total mystery. I didn’t know what to do, so I pretended I was someone else, usually Kate Hepburn.  If that got me what I wanted, like the job, then I would feel awful.

What if they found out that I wasn’t Kate Hepburn?

Answering this question eventually led me to invent the Secret Name (c) game. What I discovered was that calling myself by a different name made me feel different; it gave me access to confidence in abilities I discounted when I was “Pam.” Calling myself by a different name could make me feel more resourceful. Calling myself Kate Hepburn inside wasn’t being deceitful, it was helping me to realize my potential.

How am I resourceful? What makes me creative? Why am I a good problem-solver?

One of the ways we make ourselves miserable is by comparing our inside lives to what we see of others’ outside lives. We don’t consider the fact that we only see slivers of their lives, we don’t consider that we filter what we see through the filters of our experience and, perhaps, mislearning.

I don’t feel like a bamboozler anymore. It sort of crept up on me. One of the big helps were my wonderful teachers who talked about feeling like fakes themselves, and how that feeling would show up after big accomplishments. And how, as they learned to own their successes, that sense diminished. In fact, the more I talked about feeling like a phony, the more I heard from other people that they felt the same. And I heard wonderful stories about how they changed it.

In the before times, doing new stuff scared the heck out of me. I would feel sick, and often get sick. I would be totally self-conscious about everything, sure that the people I was going to be with would mark every flaw. Now, when I need to do something I haven’t done before, where I used to fake my way through and feel awful, I fake my way through and feel accomplished. It’s a change in POV. I assume that I will get along fine, that I will be seen as at least good enough, that I will do well enough. What a relief!

Feeling authentic is one of the joys of living our natural life. As we let go of feeling fake, as we own who we are with all our attendant stuff, we find ourselves effortlessly feeling authentic, able to step up to new activities, new accomplishments, new successes with a sense of excitement and fun instead of rank terror.

How have I changed from feeling like a fraud to owning my authentic self?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2015 all rights reserved 10132015

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

My Trusty Choice

My Trusty Choice

One of the most powerful decisions I have made in my life was the decision to trust. On the one hand, it’s a huge leap from living in fear to living in trust. On the other hand, at our core, it’s how we really are.

I will freely admit that making this choice was a challenge. I will freely admit that it took a lot of regular practice. I will gladly admit that it was so beyond worth it.

Why do I trust? How do I choose trust? What makes me want to trust?

A dear friend uses the phrase, “faith or fear.” I like that. The point is, simply, that fear is a choice.

I know that it doesn’t feel like that. Believe me. I spend years with terror as my emotional underpinning. It was hellish. And I was living in a bad situation, so it was also reasonable. There wasn’t much I could do as a kid, but as an adult, I have choices. One of those choices is to assess my circumstances and make some decisions. If I am in a bad situation, I can choose to change it. If I am not, but going to fear from habit, I can change the habit.

When I live in fear, I am often exhausted. When I live in fear, I don’t feel well much of the time. My muscles hurt, as do my joints. I often have digestive issues. I may be plagued with nightmares and poor sleep in general. I may feel depressed and not even know it. All sorts of stress-related maladies can plague me. I see the world as a grim and wicked place, I see you as something of a menace even if I love you. I believe that this is the way the world is.


Choosing trust is, as the saying goes, a leap of faith. It is coming to recognize that the idea of reality being fixed is a mislearning. Nothing is “just the way it is.” Giving up the notion that I am “just the way I am” means that I can let go of the things that hurt me, the behaviors that hold me back, the relationships that eat my soul.

Choosing trust means that I can start taking responsibility for myself. Wow. I can take responsibility for being in my circumstances and so I can start modifying them to bring me deeper into my natural life. I  take responsibility for my happiness, my state of mind, in general, and that gives me the power to choose how I feel, to choose my thoughts, to choose my beliefs.

When I choose trust, I trust that I will find the resources  I need, that the circumstances that come up for me will be useful and bring me a deeper understanding of myself and of you. I discover that this deeper understanding brings peace with it.

When I choose trust, I stop feeling like everything is personal. I understand that you treat me the way you feel about yourself, I remember that you can only see me through your filters, that I can only see you through mine. I remember that filters are not Truth.

When I choose trust, I am choosing my natural life. My natural life is joyful. It is peaceful and playful, creative, productive, and purposeful. My life feels meaningful. Bliss is normal. I see beauty and kindness.

How have I changed from living in fear to choosing to trust?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2015 all rights reserved 10052015