It’s A New Year, But You Don’t Need To Be A New You –– You Need To Be The Real You

Allegra Messina
Allegra Messina

It’s a new year.

But you don’t need a new you.

Because no matter what you’ve done this year, or haven’t done but wish you had and are currently planning to start doing First Thing! in the new year as soon as that last firecracker’s embers die and all the (cigarette) smoke clears and you toast your twelfth — uh, last glass of champagne and drink that bad boy down to the very last drop to chase down the taste of all those decadent desserts you don’t even want to remember having after 8 PM or whatever time it is that they say you should stop eating and not to mention wash away the lingering awkwardness of the midnight kiss you had with that random you just met that you wish you did remember because you gave him your number and now you don’t even know his name or if he’s cute, the truth is:

You don’t need to change who you are.

To use the words of the mighty Mufasa:

You just need to remember who you are.

* * *

“The question is: Who are you?

This is what Rafiki asks us.

(Okay, technically in the movie he asks Simba because they were having a meaningful and life-altering conversation and plus he probably didn’t even know we existed or that we were eavesdropping at all during their private moment and plus it’s a cartoon and like, not real. But you know what I mean.)

Who are we?

Are we our age?

Are we our weight?

Are we our appearance?

Are we our bank accounts, our fans or followers, the number of people we know, the number of likes we get on a picture or a post, the number of people who show up at our birthday party?

No.

Are we our job titles, our networks, our relationships, our relationship status?

Are we our hobbies, our passions, our possessions, our awards, our accomplishments?

Are we our heartaches, our heartbreaks, our losses, our mistakes, our failures?

No.

All these things are so arbitrary, so temporary, so changeable. All these things merely become part of us throughout the span of our lives; things to experience and enjoy, things to learn from, things to grow from. But none of them could ever truly define us, for still we are ever more than all these things.

Amidst our ever-evolving existence, there is only one inherent quality that is eternal within each of us, and that is:

Love.

There is only love.

Love is who we truly are. Therefore:

Anytime we do not look upon ourselves and one another with the eyes of love, we are not being who we truly are.

Anytime we do not speak to and speak of ourselves and one another with the heart of love, we are not being who we truly are.

Anytime we do not embody love to ourselves and one another, we are not being who we truly are.

Because every time we forget love

we forget who we are.

* * *

Have you forgotten who you are?

If you have — and we all do — it’s okay.

Part of love is understanding that forgetting has its own place in life. We exist within a constant cycle of change and fluidity, moving through an eternal state of duality and dimensionality. We travel through endless patterns of highs and lows, of fast and slow; of creation and destruction, order and chaos. Of tension and release, contraction and expansion. Of gestation and birth, of birth and death. Of being lost, and being found.

Of remembering, and forgetting.

If you’ve forgotten who you are, it’s okay.

If you’re confused about who you are, it’s okay.

If you’re lost, stumbling, crawling, groping around in the dark not knowing where you are or where you’re going or what you’re doing or why the hell am I even here and what the hell is this all for anyway — it’s okay.

That’s just part of life, too.

Because, you see:

You are more than what you have become.

Mufasa says this to us — okay, Simba — sternly. But only because he’s full of conviction. He knows Simba has run away from his past because it’s understandably too painful.

But he knows Simba is selling himself short. He knows Simba is capable of being more than who he is currently being. That he’s capable of living and doing far more than the safe, easy, carefree, worry-free life he has chosen to wander and walk with his happy-go-lucky friends.

Because deep down, what Simba’s really doing isn’t just having fun and enjoying life.

He isn’t just playing.

He’s actually playing small.

He’s not living up to his greatness. He’s not living out his greatness.

See, Simba can laugh and play and sing Hakuna Matata all he wants in paradise. He can run and run and run from his past, and forget and forget and forget what haunts him. And by avoiding it all, ignoring it all; by shutting off and shutting out the pain and shame and guilt and blame he feels and shoving all that down into some deep dark crevice of his mind never to be seen or spoken of again, he’ll convince himself — quite successfully — that he’s happy because he’s having such a darn good time enjoying life.

And he will be happy, on many levels. But he will never quite be at peace. Because we know he’s still avoiding something. We know the truth he’s avoiding having to deal with, live with, make peace with. We know he’s still not being all he truly is and could be. He can’t, not when he’s fragmented a part of his past and pushed it far, far away from himself. By doing this, he cannot live himself to the fullest.

We can’t be at peace when we are in pieces.

Simba isn’t whole. And that’s because deep down, we know, and he knows:

He’s still living in fear.

And wherever there’s fear?

There is no love.

* * *

When we live our lives in fear, we sell ourselves short, and we short-change the world. We deprive both ourselves and the world of all the love and light we could be living and giving instead. The love that is so painfully, desperately needed, by all of us, right now. Because there is a form and expression of love and light that can only come from each of us. Only we have the power to express it, release it, unleash it. And for the world to be healed, for the world to be whole, we are all needed to express it. All of us. You. And me.

Mufasa in his majestic wisdom, understands this. For while Simba is both missed and wanted back home, most importantly — Simba is needed.

Simba is needed — to stop trying to forget his past, and to remember who he was, and still is, before his mistakes, beyond his mistakes: the one true son of the king. Simba is needed — to stop running away from his guilt, and to remember that he is more than his pain, more than his shame. Simba is needed — to remember that he was born innocent, that he is called to return to the purity of that innocence, the purity that remains forever untainted, and untouched, within his heart. Simba is needed — to step up to his highest calling, to fulfill his unrealized potential. To step into his true power, his true identity, and to use that power to restore balance, to restore peace, to restore life. To restore love.

In the kingdom. For the kingdom.

In himself. And for himself.

Simba has that power.

And so do we.

We have the power to change the state of the world we live in. To better our lives, and the lives of others, including the lives of those that love and care for us — and the lives of those we love and care for, too.

But if we never summon the courage and the strength to return to the places we once left in fear, to face the parts of ourselves that still hold so much pain and shame and regret, then it won’t happen. Instead of becoming healed, we will remain hurt. Instead of becoming whole, we will remain broken, separated, fragmented. Instead of stepping into light and love, we will remain in fear.

And because of this —the world will, too.

The world will remain hurt.

The world will remain broken.

The world will remain in fear.

For you see, my friend, here is the truth we so often miss in the midst of all our fear; within the haze and maze of all our shame, our pain, our guilt, our blame:

The amount of darkness we suppress within ourselves

is EQUAL to the amount of light we suppress within ourselves.

For there exists a light within each of us that can only be found amidst our shadows. Just as the night gives birth to the stars, all of us have a beauty that can only be seen, and felt, and held, in the dark.

When we run from our darkness, we run from our greatness. The more we run from our shadows, the more light evades us. The more we avoid our fears instead of facing them, the more love hides from us.

Because in truth — we are the ones hiding.

We are the ones hiding from love.

Because we hide from ourselves.

We hide from our darkness — and consequently, our greatness.

We hide from our shadows — and consequently, our light.

We are hiding from ourselves.

But who are we?

Do you remember?

* * *

You don’t need to change who you are.

Because who you are, the real you?

That’s exactly who you’re supposed to be.

What you may need to change though—is who you are currently BEING.

And so the question is:

Who are you being?

Are you being who you truly are?
Or are you being someone else?

Are you being ALL you truly are?
Or are you being less than your greatness?

If you’re looking in the mirror and not liking what you’re seeing, if you’re looking at your life and not liking what you’re living, if you’re looking at yourself and not liking who you’re being, who you’re becoming:

Then that just means you’re not being who you really are.

That’s why you’re not feeling good about what you’re doing, who you’re being, in this moment. You’re not being you. The real you. The real you that is already whole and complete. The real you that exists, has always existed, inside of you, just waiting to be discovered, acknowledged, understood, expressed, released, unleashed. The real you that needs to be seen. The real you that needs to be seen by YOU. The real you that needs YOUR attention, your care, your love. The real you that is loved. The real you that IS love.

The real you — that is needed.

Because.

You are more than what you have become.

You are more than what you are running from, hiding from, breaking from. You are more than whatever it is you have gone through, are going through right now. You are more than what they say you are, what they think you are, what you think you are. You are more than what they said was possible, more than what they said you could be. You are more than your past, your predictions, all your false projections. You are more than your insecurities, your insanities, your irrationalities. You are more than your illusions. You are more than your mistakes, your doubts, and all your raw, tender wounds. You are more than everything that haunts you, that taunts and terrifies you. You are more everything you have done and endured. You are more than everything that has come and gone. And still you are more than everything that is to come.

Your skeletons and shadows do not need to be shut away. Your demons and darkness do not need to be destroyed. They need to be understood. They need to be accepted. They need to be loved. Unconditionally. Because they belong to you, and anything that belongs to you is a part of you, and if you separate yourself from a part of you — you will never be whole. You will be divided, you will be fragmented. You will be in pieces. You will not be at peace.

The world will be deprived of your greatness, your love, and your light.

And you will be, too.

* * *

It’s a new year.

But you see — you don’t need a new you.

You do not need to become new.

On the contrary.

You need to become more of you. The real you.

You need to return to yourself. To all the places within you that you have run from, perhaps are still running from. To all the places you left because of who you thought you were, or who you thought you weren’t. To all the parts of you that you have ignored, neglected, or abandoned because you didn’t think it mattered. It matters. It all matters. All your experiences, your past, your regrets, your pain, your ideas, your dreams, your desires, your disappointments, your thoughts, your feelings. They matter.

Because you matter.

You matter that much.

This year, forget resolutions. Remember. Remember who you are. Return to who you are. Return yourself to yourself. To your truth. Your whole truth. To all the things within you that you have lost sight of, that you have forgotten, that you have even yet to acknowledge because you still have yet to take the time, and find the courage, to truly see them, feel them, witness them, know them, hold them.

Remember who you are, before the world taught you to forget.

You are more than what you have become.

You are love.

And love?

Love is — has always been, and will always be — who you are. TC mark

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