A Song of Yourself

I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil,
     this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and
     their parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

~ excerpted from Walt Whitman’s “A Song of Myself”

 

Think back on a time when you were most confident in yourself. Brave, steady, self-assured. Maybe it was the you of your youth. Maybe you were the top of your class. Stand-out football player. Star cheerleader. The lead in every school play. Maybe it was the day you landed your first real job, or jingled the keys to your own place. Maybe it was the day you boarded a plane to a faraway destination to trek in a foreign land. Maybe it was when you discovered you were actually quite good at creating poetry and others often told you how talented you were, and that you should publish a little book.

What would it take for you to allow yourself to feel that type of courage and vitality once again?  To live and breathe for your true self? Do you miss some integral part of your identity from the past? Truly, have you ever felt happy and free? If yes, then take yourself back there. Relish in the delight of your childhood, your happy place, your favorite day. If you can honestly say that you’ve never had even one moment of pure happiness, nor felt free to be yourself, then today is the day to make that moment happen. No delay.

Remind yourself, what were you like as a child? What was it that could hold your attention for hours on end? Maybe you were a romantic star-gazer. Maybe you sought solace by hiding away from the rest of your family, cuddled under the safety of a warm blanket, comforted by the company of characters in a borrowed library book that you literally couldn’t stop thinking about. Maybe you kicked the soccer ball against the side of your childhood home to relieve some teenage angst, but found your feet were sort of lost without the black and white ball between them to maneuver into a game-winning goal. Maybe your life would be miserable without the cool, wet rain on your face as you clocked another ten-mile run on a back country road.

What would you do with your time if you had zero responsibilities to tackle today? What if you could gift yourself a day like that? One day of freedom to roam, play, and dream. How would you spend a day like that? Where would you go and what would you do? Go ahead, daydream a little. Now, seriously consider making this one day happen. All for you. It’s not selfish, it’s not. You deserve to feel this type of deeply held joy.

What if you could arrange to do that one thing you once enjoyed, but have lost along the way? Would you dare dream such a moment can be yours once again? What’s holding you back? Please, don’t allow fears to be the culprit. I’d imagine your loved ones would be more than willing to help. It matters to become reacquainted with a piece of your heart and identity that you’ve buried away to responsiblity, embarrassment, or feeling like there is no time or place for it in your adult life. My guess is, if you only asked a loved one for their guidance, suggestions, and help in planning your one, special day, that they’d be flattered and quite pleased to lead the charge.

Do yourself a favor: stop slighting you. Believe, instead. Conquer those fears, squelch that nay-saying voice, hush the negative opposition to your lifelong dreams, your hidden passions, your happiness, and rightful joy.

Go ahead. Dream again, and chase those passions once more. You only live once. (We all know this.) Give yourself permission to make it a good one. (I promise. You won’t be sorry.)

 

What dream are you chasing? In the past, how have you made your dreams a reality? Do you ever feel that fear, anxiety, responsibilities, a negative inner-voice, or other’s expectations hold you back from going after your true passions in life? How would you spend the gift of one day devoted to pursuing your definition of pure joy? 

 

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