Discover Your Authentic Self: Be You, Be Free, Be Happy - Sherrie Dillard (2016)

Introduction

YOU ARE WHO YOU 
ARE LOOKING FOR

The journey to discovering your authentic self promises to be the most rewarding adventure of your life. When you know yourself, you are free. You have a power and presence that radiates from deep within and shines out confidently into the world. You did not come into this life to suffer, to be manipulated and denied. Whatever binds you and keeps you from living your truth is false and can be shed. It takes courage to embrace your authentic self and live life on your own terms. Yet to be uniquely you, to listen within and love yourself for all of your vulnerabilities and missteps, is what your soul longs for.

Not being true to who we are is like living with a tight cord wrapped around our heart. No matter how hard we try to squeeze the love and joy out of life, an inner pressure stifles our attempts. We have all, at one time or another, stuffed away and denied our truth, smiled with complacency, and protectively guarded our dreams and hopes from the criticism and judgment of others. When we continually do this, we live in the world as a stranger, adrift, with no anchor. Yet as detrimental as it can be to deny and hide our truth from others, it is even more dangerous when we hide it from ourselves. Without awareness of our truth, we live without true power and presence. We are empty, and a resounding hollowness that can never be filled echoes through our soul. Yet our truth can never really leave us. Although it unhappily rumbles around within when it is denied, once recognized and acknowledged, it enthusiastically springs forward. Despite attempts from the world and from ourselves to quiet and ignore its existence, our truth is our compass. It is always present, humming away and broadcasting its presence.

My Journey

When my publisher asked me to write this book, I was thrilled and grateful. My previous books have been focused primarily on developing intuition and psychic and medium abilities. Although I have been a professional psychic and medium for many years, my journey to accepting my abilities and expressing them in the world has not always been an easy one. I grew up in an academic and religious family. Psychic phenomena, life after death, and even listening to our intuition were never discussed. Although for the most part I was comfortable with the psychic experiences that occurred spontaneously throughout my early years, I never shared or spoke of them to anyone. This went on until I was in my late teens. I kept what I intuitively saw, felt, and heard a secret. It was only when I experienced an overwhelming surge of psychic episodes that I began to share this part of myself with others.

I kept this part of myself hidden away because I had a fear of being labeled and judged by others. Psychics and mediums seemed to be a bit kooky, easy targets of ridicule, and quite possibly fake charlatans. I both identified with being a psychic and harbored a low opinion of them at the same time. It was not only the opinions of others that I feared, but my own as well. My journey to living authentically was motivated by my inner confusion about who I was and who I wanted to be. I knew that I had to discover a truth within me that went deeper than labeling and judging myself and accommodating what others, primarily my family, expected of me. I couldn’t live in secret anymore. My inner truth was breaking down the false walls, and I had to find peace with being me.

Even though experiencing psychic and mediumistic phenomena pushed me to dive deep into myself and discover my truth, we all are called to this journey. Authentic living begins with being able to discern and acknowledge our personal truth, however perplexing or unsettling we may judge it to be. This is the fundamental building block of all our successes. In our relationship and career choices and all of the many decisions we make on a daily basis, it is essential to know who we are. Otherwise we create and experience only discontent and emptiness.

How to Work with This Book

I wrote this book as a way to take your hand and walk with you into the magnificent truth of who you are. You are who you are looking for. Everything you need to learn, know, and experience and all the love, strength, and courage you desire is wrapped up inside of you. We will seek out those times when you have run away from yourself and reclaim the truth that you may have left behind. The layers of false masks and the emotions, beliefs, and perceptions that darken your inner light will be shed. Then, in the shining glow of your truth, the loving, wild, and perfectly imperfect creature that you are will reappear.

The light of your true self illuminates a wide path and is the jumping-off point into deeper mysteries. Within you there are greater truths to encounter. I have attempted to make a cozy spot for you to further investigate and identify your less tangible but still essential truths. We will explore your intuition, your connection to your power spirit animals, your subtle energy body, and the archetypal gifts that you are here to give and share with the world. Your authentic self works in alliance with an awe-inspiring force. Spirit has branded you and left its stamp on your soul. You are spirit and energy, and when you know yourself in this way, you activate your most powerful and authentic self. I hope to inspire you to better connect with this greater part of who you are and allow it to shine forth.

This book is written as a collection of essays covering a wide range of topics. Some essays are meant to inspire and motivate, while others include meditations and exercises. As you read these pages and practice the exercises, adopt the curious perspective of an explorer and adventurer. Although I wrote this book to be a process that will guide you through the many different phases of self-discovery, you do not have to read it cover to cover. Discovering the authentic self can be a crazy, nonlogical business, so jump ahead if you feel moved to do so, or go slow, or read fast. Whatever you want to do is fine. After each essay, there is a one-sentence affirmation that will reinforce and help you to further integrate its message. When you repeat, focus on, and meditate on affirmations, they sink deep into the unconscious and become the thoughts that create your reality. Essay 62 further explores affirmations and how to work with them.

I hope to inspire you to embrace all of who you are and allow your light to shine forth. Not only do you need the authentic you, the world needs you too.