Have you ever watched a movie or read a book and just been completely enamored with a character’s outrageous actions or personality? Like Maria Elena in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Enid from Ghost World, or even Joe Carroll from The Following? These people may be totally insane but they own every bit of it. Owning it is when you go beyond the physical, you transcend societal stipulations and belief, and you embrace every bullet point of who you are – it is to be true to yourself. All three characters I listed above could definitely benefit from some serious therapy, maybe some yoga or meditation, but overall you can’t not have some respect for them.
So how does one own it? Here are a few things that people who truly own it have in common, without going to extremes:
I had a yoga teacher say those words in the middle of a difficult pose once, and I immediately came back to my mantra and why I was there. I was focusing mostly on the pain and how bad my balance was that day. I was being negative towards myself and forgetting the point of why I was there, why I even do yoga – I want to grow past pain, obstacles, negativity, and being so greatly affected by that which makes me uncomfortable. When we are present we not only stay on our path, we tend to enjoy even tedious things more, we are less annoyed with them, and we begin to trust ourselves. Trusting yourself leads to confidence, leads to naturally owning it.
Death By Association
This is a tough one. We are taught to be inclusive, to be friendly and kind to others, and many of us would probably sacrifice ourselves and the truth before we would want to hurt the feelings of another. This does make you a beautiful and loving person, but if any of this is affecting you and your life negatively on a consistent basis, it’s time to let it go. Distancing yourself or cutting ties may seem scary, but you can do it without burning the bridge – if you can’t, then burn the bridge! This is usually most apparent if you have been friends with the person for a long time, or if you are romantically involved. With the old friend, who may be going down a different path or they just stay stagnant and refuse to grow, you will probably try to pull them out of the dark side a few times before you see that it is just not working. Staying in this relationship WILL influence you, maybe you don’t see it but it will. Laziness is a great example – when someone close to you has given themselves permission to be lazy in life you will compare yourself to that: Jeff calls in all the time, I can call in this once. Or, Erica is always late, so I should be fine. You are holding yourself to their standard, a lazy standard. Next time someone comes into your life, ask yourself, do I want to be associated with this? The answer may be, I’m not sure yet. It could be a year later, maybe it’s someone you’re dating, that old uneasy feeling may creep in. This time, instead of ignoring it, ask yourself again, do I want to be associated with this? I promise you your mind will immediately answer with the truth, and you have to listen.
Always Be True to Yourself
My mom has said for as long as I can remember that this is the most important thing you will ever do. When you don’t listen to that voice that is telling you something is wrong, or bad, or you need to run, you start telling yourself all the reasons why you shouldn’t do those things, why you should just stay and take it. Most of the time these reasons are incredibly superficial: I can’t leave him, he’s so attractive or he makes a lot of money; heart disease runs in my family but it’s friday and I’m going to eat this pizza all by myself because it’s delicious. When you do this, you are talking yourself into doing something against you, you are selling yourself on the idea of being bad to your body, your mind, and your heart. You are wasting your own time and you are conditioning your brain to lie to you. I hate it when people lie to me, so I certainly don’t want to be one of those people to myself. And does lying to myself attract insecure people who lie to themselves, and others? By lying to myself am I painting a false picture of who I am?
I’m not telling you to be Joe Carroll and go on a killing spree, and personally I would not want to be associated with him. I’m just telling you to stop killing yourself from the inside out. Own who you want to be, own the qualities you like about yourself, own the fact that you’re going to consciously work on the areas that need work. And never apologize for yourself or where you are today. You are already your true perfect self. No matter what horrible mistakes you have made years ago or 2 hours ago, you can start owning the real you right now. Go!