My son is in his final year of high school and is dealing with the extraordinary pressure of final graduation exams, in a tough international school environment.
Some years ago (in the midst of a Lego obsession) my son decided he wanted to be an engineer. So now, each night, we nag, cajole, bribe and barter with him to complete his Chemistry, Physics, Math, English and/or Technology studies. You know, all the subjects he chose in order to become a well-educated engineer.
Every night, he resists, procrastinates, pouts, resents and defies. Each day, he goes to school feeling guilty for under-performing, worried about his grades and overwhelmed by the pressure of it all. And he pleads with us “Can’t I just have a break? Leave school? Travel? Get some balance back in my life?”
The simple truth is that the process of becoming an engineer is sapping the soul out of my son. I mean draining him, completely, of all joy, enthusiasm and pleasure. And I believe it’s because engineering is not what truly inspires him.
There is a lot of chatter these days about how to find the right balance in life; how to carefully juggle life’s various factors to create optimum enthusiasm and productivity. But there is something inherently flawed with this viewpoint:
Whereas we are taught to seek balance for greater well-being, I believe that we are actually wiser to strive for greater alignment.
My son has an insatiable interest in languages. On most evenings, whilst avoiding his homework, he can be found researching ancient scripts or studying the linguistic similarities of indigenous peoples. The back pages of his school books are littered with carefully-crafted, fictional languages including grammar and syntax. On vacation (often around Asia) he will absorb foreign words and accents as if through osmosis. My son’s brain — an engineer’s brain — naturally breaks language into its smallest components and understands how each piece contributes to, and integrates with, the whole.
My son is a gifted linguist. He is deeply and naturally aligned with language, its power to unite, and its ability to map human history. But somehow, at an unknown point in his youth, he decided that some other career was more important than linguistics. More enticing. More acceptable.
With all of the limits, structures and beliefs we unconsciously inherit from society, it can be hard to align with your authentic self. But it’s incredibly easy to know when you have done so. When you are aligned:
It’s important to understand that authenticity and alignment will not create a life devoid of drama or disappointment. But, when things do go awry, it does allow you to quickly and easily regain your equilibrium (balance, anyone?) because your sense of well-being does not rely on any external gratification. It flows consistently and effortlessly from within you.
It is naive to believe that we can reverse a lifetime of social conditioning in a few simple steps. Reconnecting with your authentic self — rediscovering the desires, talents and values that emanate from your very core — takes time, commitment and self-awareness. However, there are a few fundamental keys to becoming more authentically You:
Kim Forrester is an award-winning author, educator and intuitive consultant with over 15 years’ experience as a professional intuitive and spiritual teacher. She combines cutting edge science with traditional spirituality to offer the latest understandings of psi, consciousness and holistic well being. Find out more at www.kimforrester.net
Originally published at medium.com