What’s So Fake About You?

What comes with knowing yourself? Oftentimes it’s too overwhelming and intimidating, and we return to our previous patterns. If we’re persistent enough to embrace who we really are, it can still be a lonely road. Sometimes, finding out the truth about ourselves just seems to be too much trouble. So we keep making the same mistakes and falling into the same patterns because we haven’t really unwound and understood the root of these patterns in the first place!

Someone once (or twice) said, know thyself. Let’s see; the Oracle of Delphi, Jesus, well, heck, about everybody worth mentioning has some twist on it. Why? Most of us who have been in therapy, read numerous self-help books, etc., are left being mostly acutely aware of what is wrong with us and eventually head back to the barn (what’s familiar). There is only so much we can take. And those of us who hang in there still complain of the loneliness and austere life it seems the road less traveled requires. “To Hell with it!” we say, “Life is short and I need a reward for all this vigilance and self-examination, arrgh…pass the Kool-Aid.” So, we continue the search, now seeking elsewhere for guidance, and perhaps decide Popeye was right, “I am what I am” and get on with life.

If knowing the truth and ourselves is that much trouble, I can’t be bothered: I have bills to pay, mountains to climb, kids to feed, men to seduce (who will hopefully rescue me from it all), women to charm (who will hopefully distract me from my failures), pounds to lose, wrinkles to conquer, a legacy to leave so I can get to Happily Ever After already. So we ditch Buddha for Santa Claus (& Popeye) and keep looking for the secret. “Know thyself, ha!” we mutter and join the proverbial “if ya can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” crowd.

We manage to skate for a while on our latest distractions: a new love interest, new job, new cosmetic procedure, sudden influx of cash, new handbag or project. Yet the gap between how we act and who we are widens, and no matter what we tell ourselves, eventually the suffering returns, most of it silent. And we wonder why. So we up the dues: get more sex, more stuff, more money, more attention, better projects, a different house, another baby, another job, travel (that’s it! I need a vacation!), a face lift, a tummy tuck, lose 20 pounds, a younger wife, get another degree, REDECORATE for God’s sake… THIS IS AMERICA! The pursuit of happiness is my birthright!

Beneath the façade of fake smiles and the it’s all good story swells the raging sea of discontent, the cauldron of disappointment, chilled by terror and fueled by resentment that things are not different. This cocktail is lethal—we chase it down with envy and regret as the elusive dream slips further away.

According to scientists, our daily behavior is 90% subconscious. From years one to five a projection reel spliced with trauma, false beliefs and genetic inheritance has been cast upon our nubile brains: the reel continually spins out our reality, like the daily press, in predictable neural loops over our lifetime. It seems who we are is simply who someone else (“they”) told us to be. Most of us were duped and now are understandably pissed, as we find interrupting these patterns and uncovering who we really are feels like trying to stop a nose-diving 747 jet with a diaphragm.

You might cry, “Why do I pretend to be more than I am, have more than I have? Why do I feel that I am not enough, why don’t I want what I have, how come happiness escapes me, why do I believe that when I get (blank) everything will be okay, but that never seems to come?” The good news is, what is fake about you is NOT who you are! Who you are is magnificent, eternal, and unique. Yet until we know this true self we feel trapped in a life directed by an unconscious dictator, our subconscious beliefs and patterns.

While you may be tired, overwhelmed and have no bandwidth right now as survival is taking its toll, as my mother would say, “Don’t give up 5 minutes before the miracle.” Here is an exercise that may help you reignite your search for freedom of being, as well as put some pep back in your step—the energy it takes to pretend to be someone you are not, be fake, is extraordinary.

What’s fake about me? Exercise

1. Get a piece of paper and write down all the things that are fake about you (you may burn after reading, of course). Examples might be that you are:

Fake skinny: you spend an inordinate amount of time watching your weight so that people will find you attractive or so you will feel loved or seen. You fear that if you were fat you would never be happy, popular, get a man, be loved or accepted.

Fake nice: you spend much of your time trying to make people like you, manipulating your circumstances by being nice so you can get what you want, while underneath you seethe with resentment or envy of those who don’t seem to care what others think.

Fake rich: you pretend to be successful, you have mortgaged your life so others will think you are a person of worth, you lease your car that you cannot afford, buy clothes to create a false image, live in a house beyond your means, etc.

You get the idea, go ahead and explore all the fake parts: fake smart, because you believe you need to know so you can hide your fear of being inept or stupid; fake pretty, in hopes of being perfect-looking so you can finally be important, special or loved; fake happy, because you know people don’t want to hear your problems and would never want to be around someone as depressed and messed up as you really feel. Fake straight, fake sexy, fake sensitive, fake caring, fake in control, fake good mom, fake happy marriage, fake great relationship, fake healthy, fake spiritual, and on and on. Let it out. You have an opportunity to relieve yourself of the burden of living this secret life by simply admitting it!

2. Be with it. Sit down with what’s fake about you and move deeper into it. Exaggerate it, even. Give it a voice. Let the fake part or parts have a turn telling you about themselves. You might be surprised at what they have to say!

3. Feel it. Whatever feeling or emotions come, let yourself have them. Like a wave, they will not hurt you; they will wash through you and heal you if you have the courage to feel them all the way. (It could be helpful to have an enlightened witness to share this part of the process with, someone you trust to your core.)

4. Allow it. Relaxing into this allowing, comes freedom. In the acceptance comes understanding and then compassion. Including all our parts allows us greater freedom of being. Developing unconditional love for ourselves expands our capacity for intimacy and joy.

5. Know this is not all of who you are. My teacher Kathy reminds me of this fact all the time. I feel relieved and all at once welcomed back to the human race and condition. We find our right size again. This perspective gives space for a sense of peace and well-being, room to breathe and dream forward your heart’s true desires again. Your soul shines, your authentic self is free to be!
Namasté and blessings, freedom seekers!

Finding More Love and Happiness

These are not tips meant to be solely taken for happiness, you can find tons of happiness inspiration nestled within all sorts of magazines and websites! However.. these are tips I have found to be true. Accept them and make them work for you and you’ll find some delicious new happiness.

Copying

Taking inspirations from other artists and making them work in a way that is very you and your style can be ok but make sure you’re aware of where you got it from. If what one person is doing inspires you, also make sure others know about it. Recognize and honor those who inspire you, they wont forget you as easily when they’re rising to the top.

It’s important to realize we do not live in a box closed off from the outside world and everyone’s work is everywhere. I used to get really upset about this. Still do sometimes.. but what’s the point?

Be aware that if you’re using another artist’s work without their permission in any way to benefit yourself or to gain profit, you should be strung by your shoelaces to the nearest tree until you come to your senses. The importance of the world and the internet is that we all have an opportunity to express OURSELVES. Not our neighbors.

Copycats

Let go of your superiority complex if you have one. People are going to copy you if you’re doing something groundbreaking, it’s not a new tale. Instead of trying to monitor the whole world (impossible even for Bush), accept that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Can you imagine if Andy Warhol exerted energy making sure no one copied his work? You’re inspiring others. Be proud of yourself. Artists have inspired other artists since the beginning of time. That being said DON’T COPY. Find inspiration but BE YOURSELF.

Research

Study daily, anything you have an interest or passion in. Continue learning about it and never stop — let your passions guide you and your dreams. Live your life doing what you love and enjoy everyday you have alone and with those you adore to the utmost. Share your passions and research, in this way we’re always learning about new things from each other. Master your craft and you will find true happiness and satisfaction inside.

Flamers & Trolls

Everywhere that there are amazing and positive, creative, successful people you’ll find a group of jealous and conniving. They feel that instead of working on their own dreams they’d prefer to shatter yours and inspire you to fail. Don’t ever give up and let them win — be true to yourself and you’ll attract friends that are true to you, too. Everyone has people that do not like them, everyone clashes with someone. Don’t ever beat yourself up for it, focus on those you love and that love you. Always be open to new friends. You only live this life once, spend it with and thinking about the positive relationships you have and move on from the negative. They’ll only cause you pain in the end and it’s usually taking away from your family and friends that stood by since the beginning.

Memories

Or souvenirs of the mind. Collect good memories and let go of hurtful ones. Be aware that you cannot change the past and your new life starts today. If you feel there is something missing from your life that you see in your memories — realize that is a charm to be shared with only you and whomever you may experienced it with. If you can locate them let them know what they mean to you, if you cannot mentally thank them for the wonderful adventures and move on to have new ones. When people separate it can be for a million reasons, all that matters is the memories they shared. Don’t focus on what you had, focus on what you have. It’s nothing but a Polaroid to hold sentimentally in your mind, let it inspire you to spend new amazing times with the people you care about now.

Compassion

Be a little bit more compassionate! Not only will it improve your happiness but it will improve the receiver’s happiness as well. Even if you feel fake, like you don’t mean the help you are extending, keep offering and building character because soon you will feel it. You’ll feel better for being reliable, too. 🙂

happiness

It also doesn’t help to take a trip to your nearest carnival and grab some cotton candy or a candy apple or saltwater taffy! If you were really feeling indulgent you might get all three, haha.