Independence and Freedom: True Self vs. False Refuge

Last weekend I attended a seminar with Tara Brach and Jonathan Foust, two excellent Buddhist teachers on Conscious Living.  Tara talked about living in your ‘false refuge’, that place where you go to hide or escape so that you don’t have to connect with others authentically.

  • When you are angry or hurt, do you complain to your co-workers seeking their sympathy?

True Self vs. False Refuge

Being truly authentic or deeply connected to others can be scary.  You may feel vulnerable being open. Tara’s idea of a ‘false refuge’ got me to thinking about how often we don’t connect with our True Self.

Your authentic self isn’t always what you show to your co-workers, neighbors or even those you live with.  Sometimes it’s scary to see your authentic self clearly. There may be personality traits or qualities you don’t particularly like.

Yet your True Self – underneath your personality, doubts, worries and longing- is pure radiance.  It is whole, unique, and beautiful.  Your True Self, stripped of self-judgments and egoic thinking, knows only love, compassion, joy.

True Freedom

In my book, “Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand”, I’ve included a chapter on Embracing your Shadow.  Until you can come to terms with your personal qualities that you don’t particularly like or want to show others, you can’t be completely free.  You’ll spend a lot of time and energy hiding, pretending, running away.

Your independence, true freedom, isn’t about what others do or don’t do to hold you back or push you down.  It’s about how free you are to connect with your own True Self.

>  Are you afraid to look inside to see what’s there?

> Have you befriended those shadow qualities you don’t particularly admire or like about yourself?

Until you can truly embrace ALL that you are, you won’t be completely free.

This Independence Day, claim independence from your ‘false refuge’, the times and ways you run away from yourself.

Living is Easy picture

True Freedom for Easy Living

Offer yourself compassion. Free yourself from struggle or self-judgments.

Know, claim and own the light and the shadow within you. Embrace all the qualities of you.

Give yourself the gift of complete acceptance of Who You Are.  You are whole.  You are Radiant.

True Freedom means honoring, celebrating, and enjoying your True Self.  No one can give you that freedom but you.

Om, Shanti, as-salaam alaikum.

 

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