It’s Christmas, a time to celebrate the birth of Chirst, the birth of a spirit that followed his inner directive and lived his truth. Somehow this holiday has lost much of its true meaning and has become more focused on materialism and consumption.
If there is one gift you can give yourself, it is the gift of listening to your inner voice. At a very early age I recognized that the cacophony of voices I was hearing, both from within and outside of me, were in conflict with one another. I was receiving messages from my parents, my teachers, my friends, my neighbors, my siblings, the media and myself. Each communication came at me as if it was the truth. Every expression had its own perspective, its own agenda. Often completely at odds with one another, collectively they brought much confusion and raised great fear in me. As I grew older, I became more aware of my constant inner turmoil, what to do? Who to be? What’s right? What’s wrong? Where is the truth? What is the truth? Is there truth?
These questions kept bombarding my mind, causing me great emotional distress. I could hear the little voice in me begging me to be true to myself. I began to listen intently to what I was feeling, thinking. The more I listened, the more I began to distinguish between the differing voices and messages. I started separating my voices from other voices. It became apparent to me that some of the beliefs and opinions of my parents, my teachers, my friends, etc., were not necessarily my beliefs. For example, when I was nine years old, in school in Israel, our teacher was talking about the Ten Commandments. She stated that God gave people these ten rules because human beings were essentially evil and needed rules to control their bad behavior. She said that we needed to be socialized or we would harm others. I remember sitting in that class listening to her. What she was saying did not resonate with me. I looked inside myself and did not experience evil. I felt that I was a good human being and cared about others. I did not agree that I was evil and needed rules in order to be a good person. I noted that since I do not feel I am evil, and since I am a human being, then other human beings were not evil either. I dismissed her opinion and embraced mine.
This practice of checking in with my internal voice when I heard a particular point of view contributed to my ability to develop my own sense of self. I developed the capacity to listen to what others were saying, bring it inside of me and, depending on what I truly felt, confirm or reject their position. This process quickly evolved into my second nature. It became my path to recognizing who I am, what I think, and I feel. I began to implicitly trust my inner voice. Whenever I failed to heed its message, due to fear of rejection or a desire to avoid a confrontation, this little voice would not let me be. It would create so much discomfort in me that I would have no choice but to reclaim it. In other words, it felt more uncomfortable to conform to others’ opinions than to ignore mine.
As time passed, making the difficult choices to remain true to myself grew easier. The more I listened, the better I understood, the more solid I felt in my body, the greater my ability to stand up for my truth no matter what the cost. Invariably, I developed an extraordinary strong sense of self. With that came the understanding that my responsibility in this lifetime is to be true to myself and act according to my inner guide. I came here to live my life, not someone else’s life. I came here to discover my essence and express it in the world in my unique way. This insight brought with it a tremendous amount of freedom, and yes, responsibility. I learned that I am the source of my experiences, my freedom — my life!
In the spirit of Christmas, I wish everyone a peaceful and joyous holiday.