John is a Guru – not that he would recognize himself as one. He is in his mid 80’s, retired, and lives with his wife Eleanor.
When looking at John, you wouldn’t notice anything special about him, other than he is very tall, and when he smiles he lights up the room. He doesn’t talk the spiritual talk, nor would he consider himself to be walking a path of spirituality. Yet, I find that when I’m around John, I’m relaxed, peaceful, and I’m not inclined to do anything other than just sit in his presence.
Hendrick is another Guru. There is a different quality of presence in Hendrick than in John, but the delight I feel when I’m in his presence is palpable.
More and more I find within myself a greater capacity to recognize the gurus among us. They are just human beings living one day at a time, experiencing life issues the same as everyone else.
Guru’s are like that. They are normal men, women, and children, and though they may have abilities to experience love and light beyond what most of us experience, their greatest gift is that, in their presence, people experience peace within themselves. In their presence, people enjoy being.
Can I Enjoy Being Me?
Most of the individuals who contact me for support and coaching have been immersing themselves in environments and relationships within which they don’t enjoy being themselves. They, like most of us, think it’s normal to struggle and be unsatisfied with life to one degree or another, regardless of a dream to have it be different. They complain and whine, and often talk about what’s wrong with the world and what is wrong with themselves. I have to ask them the question: “When do you enjoy being you?”
When Do You Enjoy Being You?
You can’t imagine the looks I get when I ask this question. It’s as if the screen on one’s computer just went blue – and then the reboot begins. They will say: “What do you mean, when do I enjoy myself?” Or, “Well, I’m not sure how to answer that question.” They are stalling while they get a handle on what I’m asking. I get it. Few of us are comfortable knowing who we are inside our skin – and what is true for us – inside our skins.
I, like so many people, initially found it unnatural to think or to know when I was enjoying myself, until my own therapist, many years ago, turned me in the direction of when, where, and with whom I enjoyed being me. My life then was primarily made up of relationships within which I thought I was supposed to be okay in. I worked hard to like and love people who didn’t like or love me, nor had the capacity to love or like me, or themselves for that matter. I exhausted myself trying to be one who would be loved by everyone – especially by my mom and dad, sisters and brothers, husband and children. Truth is, no matter what, I rarely enjoyed being with them. Get it? I didn’t enjoy being me – with them. But, because I was supposed to enjoy being with them, I figured there was something wrong with me, and I would never have what it takes to be happy, content, or fulfilled in any relationship. However….
I realized that there were times, people, places, and activities within which I thoroughly enjoy being me. Initially I made that wrong. But over decades, I’ve enjoyed being me as I am, wherever I am, even though I still sometimes judge myself, because my life looks different, quirky – anything but normal. I was trained to not like my life as it is; I’m supposed to be striving for better, different, more! But I’m giving up striving for better, different, more, and now only strive for simple acceptance of me as I am – no matter what.
As I strive for simple acceptance of me, I meet the most amazing people who are everyday gurus, everyday men, women, and children, who somehow, magically it seems, light me up, just by being themselves. I feel the warm embrace of connection, not by some special individual sitting cross-legged on a pillow, chanting OM. No, these gurus are the clerks at the grocery store, the patrons at the Center – purchasing tickets for the upcoming performance, & friends around the kitchen table – sharing a meal and a game of cards. In these environments, with these people, which now seems like everywhere, I enjoy being, and I enjoy being me.
The upside of aging is that, as long as we are alive in these bodies, we are provided with opportunities to discover and embrace the being within. And, as we accept and enjoy the truth of this being within, more and more often those Gurus magically show up in our lives, and we feel blessed, delighted, and enjoy just being.
If you’d like to join Dr. Rosie in the AGING – Who Me in-person discussions at the Orcas Island Senior Center, they are meeting this coming Tuesday – Aug. 8th, from 10 – 11:30 a.m.