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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wearing Someone Else's Clothes


When I was in the corporate world and received my first important promotion, I went to a tailor and had five suits made that looked like men's suits. I even wore some of them with a jaunty kind of feminine tie. Fortunately the suits looked rather good on me, but that phase of my wardrobe did not last very long as I soon realized I did not have to wear men's clothes to do what was - then - considered to be a man's job.

In this post, however, I'm not talking about that kind of dressing. Wearing someone else's clothes happens when we take on the characteristics and mannerisms, the personality traits, the beliefs and the way of behaving of another human being. It may start out because we admire someone. It may begin because we wish to emulate what they have done in order to get there ourselves.

But there is a great distance between emulating someone's proactive behavior in order to achieve a goal and actually taking on that person's characteristics because we have not given our own being enough importance, or, what may be even worse, because we have not come to know and appreciate ourselves to any extent.

Back in the day women would often take on their husband's political and religious opinions. In conversations (and I remember hearing this phrase often in conversations in the early 70's), many sentences would begin with 'my husband says that ...' or 'Johnny believes that ... ' or ' Bill says we should ...'. It's not hard to grasp that this happened in part because these women gave little weight to their own opinions (which again, in part formed the tapestry of the patriarchal social paradigm that was in the throes of major change).

But in our present world this is often seen in the way many of us take on the opinions of a majority - opinions we have not necessarily examined and thought out properly. Frequently this happens despite the fact that in our gut we may feel another opinion is more correct, but we don't want to stand out from the crowd. Or we may behave a certain way (consuming alcohol beyond what we really want to consume, for example, or buying more articles of clothing than we really want or need) in order to fit in.

A good part of this happens due to a lack of living an aware life. The more aware an individual is, the more he will either give weight to his own opinions and character traits, or recognize that they need some tweaking, and will begin the process of doing this. Awareness leads to a greater love of the self and a greater (healthy) love of the self means that you would never want to wear someone else's clothes.


For much more about becoming aware, about loving the self and about making healthy and self-loving choices, have a look at my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self (paperback or e-book).

To download the first chapter, click here

From the Description on Amazon: Ask anyone, whatever their circumstances, if their life is vibrant, fulfilling, harmonious and happy. An honest reply is likely to be 'no', because to answer a truthful 'yes' is no mean feat. Only to grow psychologically and emotionally is not enough. And only to grow spiritually is not enough either. All three dimensions need to be developed in order to realize your full potential. If you are willing to assume total responsibility for the self and to start what is an on-going journey, you will quickly begin to glimpse the first fruits of the ultimate goal: inner well-being, freedom, peace, harmony and joy. This book sets out the pathway to self-mastery and self-discovery and walking that pathway will be the most exciting adventure of your life.

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