Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just Being A Possum - Just Be You

My friend Ernie stopped in last evening to share stories and vegetables. The last story he shared involved saying to a friend perturbed by a possum that the possum was 'just being a possum.' This was revelatory to the friend who had said he would shoot the possum. I totally got this, not the shooting part, but the 'being' part since this weekend a raccoon just being a raccoon got into my little garden.

Ernie's comment got me to thinking how my perspective might shift if I thought this way toward people to whom I react whether it's the driver in front of me throwing a cigarette butt out the window or women and men campaigning for president using strategic sound bites to appeal to the angry, anxious masses.

How might I shift by thinking 'He's just being Rick Perry or Rick Scott' or 'She's just being Michelle Bachman or Sarah Palin'? I suspect I'd be less reactive realizing 'they're just being themselves.'

This might free up my personal energy to get on with the more important challenge and questions: Am I 'just being' Dawn Kirk? What does truly being Dawn feel like inside and how does it look in my day to day life?

This is as good as it gets, which if you really think about it is pretty amazing. We're each here to 'just be' who we really are. No one has ever existed who's just like you, nor will they ever exist. If I be who I am, not who others want me to be, expect me to be or how I think I'm suppose to be, that's well in my opinion miraculously freeing and grand.

Yet in our cookie cutter world, women are still suppose to look like celebrities and men are to act like tough, cowboy types and athletes. (Thus George Bush's appeal to so many women who thought his cowboy look sexy and men who admired him. Oh, that troubles me to write, but he was considered sexy by many women, women into the cowboy archetype and what that represents....and probably some men were into him too. I can't believe I just wrote that. But that's 'just being me.')

Just being oneself is simple yet growing up makes it hard. We come into the world being ourselves yet by adulthood we've lost or forgotten who we really are. The education system and society on the whole values competition and making good grades not creativity and uniqueness. Our public education system has been good at turning out (like a factory assembly line) individuals who follow directions rather than those who think critically, live creatively and are in tune with their emotional, sensory self . Most of us are educated to stay inside the box.

People who become themselves get comfortable living outside the box (or get comfortable with the discomfort) which often means being ridiculed or made fun of and not fitting into prescribed molds and models. They listen deeply within, notice their patterns and don't follow the leader just because he or she is charismatic.

When I remember, like the possum and the song lyrics go: "I've just gotta be me" then I stay focused and internally at peace.

What about you? Who are you...really?
-Dawn, The Good News Muse 11 August 2011
reposted 2 July 2012


Jackie W. S. said...

Thanks for this reminder, Dawn. I can not only imagine but feel the shift when I give myself permission to just be. It can be effortless. It is life's sweet spot!

Anonymous said...

It was a few years ago when I was struggling with my brother that I realized: Oh, he's just being Stan! What a relief to remove a layer of pain while he was treating me as tho' I was an incompetent crazy woman...

Good article!