You are an autonomous being.
To be authentic to your autonomy or not, is your choice.
If all the influences of the outside world were taken away- the opinions of your family, the compulsions of your peers, the restrictions and permissions of society- what would be left would be the core YOU.
Your inner core being, your soul, is driven by an agenda that is uniquely its own. This core YOU has to be autonomous; its purpose cannot be served without it.
The agenda of your core self is to communicate your life- purpose to you and keep pointing to it persistently. This life- purpose, your personal North Star, is unique and unalterable. It is independent of all outside influences. No compulsions must affect it; no restrictions must clip its wings. Your core self knows that it has the right and the duty to make a choice independent of the wishes, priorities and agendas of other people.
Cooperation, association, collaboration and interdependence can exist outside (and after) this inner direction finding, not within or before it.
In every moment of choice, your core self will unerringly point to your North Star. When allowed a free reign, your core self can be your unfailing inner compass, always accurate; always true.
To permit this autonomy to have its say, to let it guide you, to be authentic and true to your soul’s agenda, is a choice. You may choose to let the world pull you into different directions and turn you- the pliant dough- into a pretzel. You may justify it by saying that a pretzel is a worthy thing and has a unique value. You will be right, in a way. A pretzel is a tasty snack, but that’s all it is. It can never compare to a meal that feeds your body, inspires your mind, satiates your heart and nourishes your soul.
You are meant to be that meal, not a pretzel.
Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.
~ Walt Whitman