What’s It Like Being You

INTRODUCTION

We all play many parts in life: daughter or son, sister or brother,

parent, boss, employee, leader, assistant, friend. We also play

many different characters, sometimes in a single day: we can be a

hero at work and an average Joe at home, or vice versa. But what

if beyond all those parts and characters, there is a more fundamental

role you can play—your true self, the you who is uniquely you?

What if you were so familiar with this role that you were completely

comfortable with yourself and at ease in all circumstances?

There’s a wonderful story about a rabbi who dies and goes to

heaven. He has led a devoted life, following as closely as he could in

the footsteps of the prophets and sages, and so, naturally, he expects

God to greet him with praise. But when the rabbi arrives at the

pearly gates, God just looks at him and says, “I made you uniquely

you. Why did you spend your life trying to be someone else?”

This book is a guide to being yourself. The reflections, practices,

and inspirational quotations are designed to assist you in

becoming who you really are. Only you can answer the question

posed in the title: What’s it like being you? But in these pages, you

can explore a variety of approaches to help you connect with your

true self.

First and foremost, this book is practical, aimed at giving you the

experience of living in your true self as both a spiritual practice

and an antidote to the stress of modern life. We now have

conclusive evidence that stress has serious health consequences,

 

weakening the immune system, damaging the heart, and affecting

memory cells in the brain—just for starters. In a recent New York

Times article, neuroscientist Bruce S. McEwen of Rockefeller

University pointed out:

We’re now living in a world where our systems are

not allowed a chance to rest, to go back to base line.

They’re being driven by excess calories, by

inadequate sleep, by lack of exercise, by smoking, by

isolation, or frenzied competition.

But there is truly no rush to go anywhere. Nobody is leaving

this earth alive. The true self waits patiently for us to come to it.

So why not slow down and enjoy the path of self-discovery?

Lao Tsu, the ancient Chinese philosopher, said: “In the pursuit of

learning, every day something is acquired, and in the pursuit

of spirit, every day something is dropped.” It is my hope that in

addition to gaining something from reading this book, you will also

come away feeling lighter and freer from having let something go.

The false self (everything that is not truly you) is what you

s u render in the process of becoming who you are. When you strip

away the opinions and postures and addictions of the ego-driven

personality, what remains is the role of a lifetime—playing yourself.

You can start anytime. Why not right now? As you move away

from the self-defeating patterns of the false self, you move closer

to the source of nourishment and renewal. Here in the true self—

the Soul—we find Spirit, and we come alive.

Please Note:

The following words are used interchangeably

throughout the book:

False self, personality, ego

True self, Soul

God, Spirit

The John-Roger quotations on the left-hand pages

are designed to assist you in attuning to the true self.

 

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