When I was in my late teens I was a hippie (or at least I tried to be one.) I thought I was rebelling and I put on a good act but underneath the act, I really did believe in Truth, Love and Peace and I was intensely examining the basis of our culture and society.
Now as a parent I have gone through three 3 teenagers. I've concluded that the adolescent rebellion that many parents experience is not really seen for what it is ...it's much deeper...
It's really a search for self.
You see them trying on different ways of being: the preppie, the jock, the rapper, the punk-rocker, the nerd, the whigger, the emo, the hippie, etc. They become part of a little tribe of individuals trying on different "clothes". They really don't know who they are, so they look outside themselves trying on a way of acting to see if it fits. They become part of a little hub of kids with a certain protocol of acting. What socks in the pattern, is one thing: acceptance. They get love and acceptance from their group.
Unfortunately they get stuck thinking that the way to be themselves is to be a reasonable facsimile of someone else, the first step in their socialization. They learn that their happiness is outside themselves in adopting an act, a persona or a mask, even if that mask is the rebel.
After that, the next steps are logical, continue to get socialized
into the culture: become a consumer, buy lots and lots of stuff, get in debt, assume that we can't do what we really want in life, avoid looking inside to solve problems, don't examine the way life is lived, just accept it, toe the line, go to work and don't complain.
It's not a make wrong; it's just the inevitable conclusion of not knowing who we really are.
But there are a few teenagers who see through the act and don't fit in. They feel alone and rejected and only have a few friends but they are real friends who don't put on the act. It's difficult for them because they see through the phoniness of the world. They are the real ones. They care about the rainforests, the homeless, organic farmers, sexism, spirituality and each other. They will eventually find out who they really are inside. Their new consciousness will be what will save us in the end.
Some how they know that many of the adults have got it all ass-backwards.
They see that the world is:
We've been thinking that our happiness is outside and that the more possessions we HAVE and the more we attain, we will be happy but we have to DO so much to get these things and the hope is that at the end of our lives we will BE satisfied. We postpone our happiness. ("Yes I know that I should develop myself, get away, take that retreat, find out what is keeping me stuck but I've got to pay that car bill... I'll be myself later) It's a compulsion we are trapped in... HAVE-DO-BE.
These non-group teenagers intuitively know that it should really be the other way around:
ie. find out who we really are first. Find the real fulfillment within then we won't get caught up so much in all the acquisition mania of trying of make ourselves happy... Be who we really are first... Then create our lives according to what is true inside rather a reasonable facsimile of something else.
Living Truly...is Truly Living!
Fortunately, more and more of us are awaking up. We get into our 40's and 50's and start looking back on our lives. We feel something isn't completely right; something's missing. We wonder what happened to the life we thought we were supposed to live. The promise of Freedom 55 never happened. There's emptiness, there's a pain.
There's an inner yearning to find the real fulfillment of life. We start again to re-examine our lives. We oddly get back in touch with the inner Hippie and these older hippies are popping up all over the place. There is resurgence.
But there is a difference. When we were young we were looking ahead at our lives and wanting it to be right. Now we are looking back at the life we have lived and wondering what went wrong. We ask who have I been being? Who has been living my life... me or some socialized personality?
But there's still hope. We still have a chance to make it right. To live from what we know is really going to fulfill us... it's not too late to begin again.
And where it starts is with BE-DO-HAVE...asking this fundamental question. "Who am I?" The question we missed way back then. It's fundamental to life, the foundation. We kick ourselves for missing it. It's so obvious.
To experience a satisfying life, one that is full of inspiration, meaning and aliveness we need to build it on what we know to be true about ourselves (not a reasonable facsimile). And that reality is something only each one of us can experience for ourselves. Then we can build our lives in congruence with who we really are inside, so that the external life is a reflection of the internal. Constructing life from the opposite i.e. (according to HAVE-DO-BE) only leads to an experience of emptiness and disillusionment.
Maybe you are at this point in your life?
Maybe you have put off the inquiry?
Saying you are too busy...too many bills...too many other commitments?
Is it time now to find out who you really are?
Is it important?
I'm not talking about
your personal history, your job title, what you know.
or the person others accept you to be, or an idea that you got from a spiritual philosophy
I mean the real one...
Can you feel it inside...the deep yearning to be you...
To live from that place...
From the inside out...
To be full, whole and complete.
No longer filled up by all the things on the "have-do-be" list.
No longer feeling "lost" in the necessities of life.
To be at home inside
To be at peace
With no-one else
Being the real you in you.
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If you enjoyed this article check out: The Search for Home or