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  • Mary Allison (Ali Doodle)

Ask Ali

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Dear Ali,

Ever since I was a junior in high school I have been on a mission to find myself. You see, I have always been rather shy, and I have this feeling that somewhere, beyond my cautious social antics, lives a free spirit, an extrovert if you will. Am I just fooling myself, or could that outgoing guy I have always desired to be still exist somewhere inside of me?

Much Thanks,

Too Shy to be Named

My dear friend,

Let me begin by telling you a little about myself. I used to be shy, not because I was shy, but because I assumed a small word was capable of encompassing the whole of my identity. I got tired of suppressing my inner-self, all in the goal of staying true to a version of me that did not exist. I came to realize that shyness was an excuse I hid behind, a prophecy I assumed I must fulfill if I wished to stay protected from the uncomfortable reality of embracing my authentic self in social and intimate situations. In order to protect myself, I gave into the 'shy lie.' The 'shy lie' evolves from a need to identify. We put ourselves in social categories because it is comfortable. Better yet, you probably didn’t even put yourself into a social category, you were most likely categorized long before you even began to think of yourself as shy.

It should be of no surprise to us that children are easily molded through their particular social environment. St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, is alleged to have said: “Give me the child till the age of seven, and I will show you the man.” It has been known for centuries how impressionable and sensitive children are, yet an incredible amount of people still participate in blatant indoctrination by simply pointing out a child’s characteristics. Personality traits are not set in stone, but many children don’t know this and end up unconsciously molding themselves into the person their parents, peers, or teachers have assumed them to be. It is important that we, as adults, awaken to the reality of personality – it is ever-changing. Children are born with an intrinsic knowledge for authenticity; it is we adults who talk them out of it.

Everyone is extremely complex in personality and deserves the right to transform his or her social disposition at any given moment. I will not be the same person I am today 5 years from now, or even 5 days from now, because I recognize my natural continuity. Change is essential if I wish to learn from this life instead of being victimized by it.

If I exuded the exact same personality I had when I was 16 years old, my life would become rather boring and repetitive. A marked change of personality is either a sign of spiritual growth or a sign of prolonged psychological reaction. When change blossoms from the indisputable spirit of the soul, it is a celebratory occasion only the soul can understand. On the contrary, when change is exerted through the lateral crevice of a forced belief system, it is of utter dismay to the soul because the soul is infinite. Infinity cannot be confined in the word shy, or any label or even any word for that matter.

Remember who you are: boundless, ever-evolving, and free to act from the authentic roots of your very soul. Yes you may, at your core, truly desire to be shy at times and that is perfect too, but you are never just ‘shy.’ You are a conglomeration of authentic social characteristics, and that is just scratching the surface! And while I am at it, allow me to add – if you are fooling yourself, who are you even fooling? The shy guy… or the outgoing guy?

Eternal Love,

Ali (Mary Allison)

Ali is practicing spiritual vulnerability in a culture that craves invincibility, amidst a fragile world.

If you wish to ask Ali a question or respond to her latest answer, please email Ali@ Maybe your question or reply will be featured in next month’s Aquarius!

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