I recently celebrated my 40th year on this planet. As I explored the contrast with my youth, I continued to see how every year of knowledge, wisdom, and experience greatly contributed to my being more self-expressed, more authentic, and less concerned with the opinions of others. Oh how sweet it would have been to have my current vantage point twenty years ago.
“Being free to express our thoughts and authentic self is one of the most liberating experiences we can have,” I imagine telling my younger self. I explain that most of us live our lives in edit mode. We edit what we say and how we behave in an attempt to “massage and manipulate” the perceptions of others. We want to be liked and even adored. How can we possibly let it all hang out? We begin a lifetime of wearing masks, being the person we think we should be. We hold our expressions in . . . surely they will go away, weaken, or morph into something that fits into a nice little box with a pretty pink bow. We unknowingly sabotage ourselves. Repeatedly.
Self-expression is meant to be that . . . expressed. Whether we are conscious of it or not, expression is energy and needs a constructive outlet or it will come out as drama and dysfunction and in time manifest as dis-ease in our physicalbodies. But for the sake of fitting in and being liked, we continue to show up contrary to how we feel deep down and we live lives that are not our truth. My younger self understands as I dialogue, but asks a very important question: “What does true Freedom of Expression feel like?
Freedom of Expression feels like a soft warm blanket gently surrounding you as you share the naked essence of who you are in all situations and environments. It feels like being comfortable in your own skin as you confidently share your perspective of the world without a thought of judgment from others. It feels like meeting up with an old friend to dialogue about your lives, vulnerable, open, and receptive as this friend receives you and you receive them. Freedom of Expression looks like being more concerned with the expression of your truth than the way others are thinking and feeling about you. You feel loved, accepted, and in your highest light, most importantly because YOU show up for yourself. Freedom of Expression is ultimately about honoring yourself, and in the end I tell my younger self that is what truly matters.