What if you could have a conversation with your younger self? What experiences would you share? What advice would you give? Drop in on the unfiltered conversation between Annie Younger, aged 25, and Annie Older, 35 years her senior. As references are made to prior episodes, the conversation is best understood if followed sequentially from the beginning. Click here to read the first installment.
Annie O: Thanks Annie Y, for agreeing to suspend your judgement on the morality of homosexuality for the sake of our discussion. Now, where was I? Oh yeah, you were seeing how the signs were there all along, in the woman’s fantasies and imaginings, pointing to the fact that she was a lesbian with a keen interest to become an architect. But it was too daunting for her to fight the societal current in the main stream so she denied herself her passion on both fronts in favour of societal expectations. And her denial, her suppressing, was stressing her to the point of sickness— mentally, emotionally and physically. Do you remember, Annie Y, as a kid, in the lake, when you Paul and Shawn would challenge each other to push beach balls as far as possible below the surface of the water? How it took a heck of a lot of energy to keep your ball submerged? The further down you pushed it, the tougher it became to hold it down?
Annie Y: Yeah, I’d forgotten about that, but now that you’ve reminded me, it was great fun seeing how high the beach balls would pop up after you released the pressure. I could always beat my weakling little brothers.
Annie O: Hey, don’t forget you were—are—two and three years older than them. But the point I’m getting at is that it takes a lot of energy for us to suppress our real selves. We only have so much energy at our disposal. If we have nothing to hold down, nothing to deny or suppress, think of the energy that’s freed up for us to develop to our real potential. The experiences of this hypothetical woman may be more blatant than is often the case, but very often people do not live as their authentic self. Early on, we may not be able to identify exactly how we’re being inauthentic because the messages or directives we take away from our life circumstances starting at the time we’re in utero become very deeply ingrained. The limits within which we must act are so well defined and familiar we don’t think to challenge them. We try to make our unique shape fit into a life circumstance that isn’t a fit for us so we feel like a—
Annie Y: —a square peg in a round hole! That’s it! That is how I feel almost all the time. As long as I can remember that’s how I’ve felt and I’ve always wondered what’s wrong with me. But it sounds like from this conversation I don’t find my round hole for some time yet in my life. Do you—do I, 30 years from now—feel like life is a fit?
Annie O: It’s fitting much better, Annie Y. Remember as I’ve said before, we are always, our whole life through, a work in progress; so now, another way of thinking of that is life starts to fit better and better as self-awareness grows. As you morph from who you think you’re supposed to be to whom you were born to be, you start feeling like you’re coming into your element. If those beach balls you were holding under water had feelings, imagine what they’d be experiencing as they were rushing up to their element—the air. That’s what you’re going to experience as you rise up from the oppression of your limiting self-beliefs and beliefs others have about you, as you become enlightened, pun intended. It just doesn’t happen quite as fast.
Annie Y: I get it Annie O. But here I am, going on 31, and I don’t even know who my authentic self is. How do I know where I belong, what self-limiting beliefs I should be getting rid of, if I don’t know my real shape—going back to the peg-in-the-hole thing?
Annie O: Excellent question, my dear. Remember how I said some time back that life continuously presents us with A-has that bring us enlightenment, heightened awareness? Well, there are occurrences that I refer to as “Near Life Experiences”, in which we can look to find Aha moments that reveal our authentic self. Let me explain.