Someone asked me the other day, what do I think this song lyric by U2 means:
“Be yourself to free yourself.”
To me, it’s simple.
It means that if you’re not being your self, then you are voluntarily a slave to someone else (or something, or some group).
But as I always say, simple does not mean easy.
It’s not easy to be yourself, at least, not at first.
You will have to piss someone you love off, and do somethings (or many things) that they don’t agree with.
That (all of their pain, fear, and resistance) can be a concern of yours, but it cannot be your responsibility. That is their responsiblity.
People, even people you love, will hold on dearly to ideals and things that make them feel comfortable and safe. And so anything which you choose to do authentically will likely be, at least at first, uncomfortable to others.
But, going back to the beginning, which is more uncomfortable: the tension that comes with the freedom living true to your self, or appeasing everyone else, and then regretting it years later, perhaps on your death bed?
“Be yourself to free yourself.” Five words that pack a lot of punch.