Leah Remini the successful actor from the T.V. series, King of Queens writes in her memoir ‘TroubleMaker’ the importance of being authentic. She stresses this after her 30 plus years in the Scientology religion. She experienced constant monitoring and redirection which ultimately resulted with the label of “Suppressive Person” because she raised questions about some of the church’s actions. In addition to the tremendous personal cost of belonging the material cost for membership in this religion (thousands for the ‘average joe’ or millions for celebrities) for the constant classes, auditing and redirection is shocking. The ultimate goal of ‘clearing the planet’ – reads like a scary science fiction novel.
Dictates, ultimatums and control are methods of brainwashing that happen over time when we lose our voice and allow someone – anyone – or organization – to act as judge and jury for our own personal lives. When we stop thinking and simply follow the loudest voice or most empassioned speech it reduces us to mere cogs in a wheel – devoid of the uniqueness that each of us were born to experience. Ultimately, we are rendered helpless waiting to be told rather than seeking our own truth.
No one walks in our shoes or on our exact path. It’s up to each of us to discover our own truth. It takes work to figure ourselves out – a lifetime really – I get it – but it may actually be easier that we think. When we listen to our inner voice – our intuition – and recognize what truly gives us peace, joy and happiness we have discovered our own golden nugget of authenticity.
As Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Throughout the book the word hypocrisy screams at the reader. Formal education (past middle school), investigating topics on the Internet, or reading opposing viewpoints are all taboo according to church ‘policy.’ When we look around at other religions in our world with extreme views there seems to be a constant theme … ‘follow and don’t question.’ Really? It seems to me if something or someone is that all knowing they would want their beliefs to see the light of day. Not so. It reminded me of the crass saying about women in the 50’s, ‘keep ’em barefoot and pregnant’ in order to control them. We all know how well that worked out. Anytime we are lead to believe that there is only one way of doing, thinking and being it is time to run not walk to the closest exit.
We can learn from anyone – both what to do and not do – when we are courageous enough to think, feel and be our authentic self. As Remini concludes in her book, “what is true for you is true because you yourself have observed it to be true.”
The beauty of life is that we can take bits and pieces of our experiences and weave them together into a beautiful blanket of truth that feels right for us. There will be some threads of experiences that we may choose to discard – that’s okay. When we have the courage to ignore the personal judgments of others and break free of any artificial boundaries set up to contain us rather than celebrate us we begin to live an authentic life and it is beautiful.
Have a great few days!