The Real You

“It is required of every man,” the ghost returned, “that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide; and, if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death.” ~ Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol”

How abundantly has your spirit within you walked abroad among your fellow-man? Are there times where you were more at rest with yourself, more willing to let your spirit “travel far and wide” than others? If so, why? What was different?

Many people have lived their lives running to and fro in the earth, desperately seeking a way to extract joy, pleasure, fulfillment and happiness from the world at large, while many others have lived their lives motivated almost exclusively by a deep-rooted fear of loss. Either approach misses the point of life entirely and both tend to end in the same shallow grave.

One of my favorite aspects of my company’s corporate culture is the idea that my team and I can build a safe place where the spirits within us can find safe harbor. I know of no one who has escaped the jaws of life as it now is without a bruise or two, and letting down the barriers and fronts to reveal one’s inner spirit can be a bit daunting at first. Over time, however, the spirit within shines more and more brightly, illuminating the way for others.

This all sounds a bit airy-fairy as I write this, but it is a very real, tangible and at times visceral process. When someone believes in you more than you believe in yourself, when someone trusts you more than you trust yourself and when someone pushes you more than you push yourself you have an opportunity to let go of self-constructed limitations to the expression of who you really are, The Real You.

It will likely take time, as those walls, defenses and scar tissue took time to build and grow, but given the right nourishment and surround, you can and should blossom. Holding back is the only thing that will stunt your growth or retard your progress.

I believe that people can always change for the better. Scrooge did it late in life in what is perhaps one of the most inspiring pieces of literature ever written, and so can you! It is never too late to give more freely of yourself to the world around you.

The question is: will you do what it takes to let your spirit travel farther and wider than you’ve permitted until now? Life is too short to hold back. Whether or not the ghost’s warning is true, I see no reason why anyone should tempt fate and fail to do his or her part in allowing for the unconditional and unrestricted flow of spirit into expression no matter how big or how small the task at hand might be.

13 thoughts on “The Real You

  1. Colin

    What a great call to action! A life well lived is something that is sadly a rarity. I’m not saying that they don’t occur, but out of the billions of people in the world, they are certainly a minority. A spirit “travelled far and wide” is important because that is the only way to touch others in a meaningful way. A great spirit will allow you to be a person of greatness. You can’t be a great person without one. I will make sure not to lose the opportunity to so this in my prime. Think how much greater Scrooge would have been if he had started as a young man!


  2. Foxglove

    I tell you, how I enjoyed reading this post. Just to recognize that there is someone that believes in you, besides yourself, can make all the difference in the world. There’s a connection that is made where you truly find it reasonable and realistic to be all that you can be. With so much tragedy that pervades the world, we need these kinds of friends, friends that will not accept from us a lower standard than the things we are capable of. Onwards and upwards indeed!


  3. mchoya

    As I sit on a commercial airliner amongst many who are traveling far and wide for the holidays, thank you for the reminder of the spirit which should accompany the body!


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