Growing up, the movie Rudy was an example of how you should live your life. Rudy is a story about a lower-middle class boy growing up in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His family worked in an auto factory and the idea of going to college was never a thought to most of Rudy’s family. Rudy idolized the “Fighting Irish.” He had big dreams to play football for Notre Dame, but he was small and didn’t have the skills needed to play with team, but he had heart. He wanted to impress his father so badly that, though his grade weren’t good enough to get into ND, he was determined to play for the Fighting Irish.
To survive my family, you needed to have heart. You needed to be ready to fight to be successful when adversity came your way. There was no can’t, there was “Just do it!” If you dream it make it happen! “Be Rudy” became a family mantra.
Unfortunately, “Being Rudy” takes its toll. You cannot be Rudy in every situation. No, you must choose your battles. It drains you, because, in the end you are constantly trying to prove yourself instead of being true to yourself. It is an evolution to let go. Sure, there is that one goal. You have to work hard and you have to fight, but there will always be another fight. Do you want to fight again? What about the one after that? At some point, we “Rudys” will be faced with the question, who am I doing this for and why do I need to prove anything to anyone? What could be worse, is the question that dawns, “who am I?”
After all that work and the intense focus, we tend to forget who we are and the value of being “You.” After this past year, I hit the wall and said, “Ok, now, be Kate.” “Kate? Kate?” I said, “who is this Kate?” So I did all the things that I thought Kate, the daughter of Beth and Howard Mitchell should do. Be a good mom, live a certain lifestyle, cook, etc. Still then, I didn’t feel fulfilled. I was living out a story or an identity created for me, that wasn’t exactly me. I also realized that the identity I felt I had to be, and that is taught in the Rudy story is, “Be a doer.” So I did, but when your body or mind or soul won’t let you do anymore, there is nothing but stillness.
Stillness is intangible. It’s quiet, scary, and it is. For me it felt like what I imagine spending a year in Siberia is like. You must accept that its freakin’cold and quiet. It also means you have to let go of all you’ve known and just exist.
A doer, like myself, wants to see results and impact. I want to keep going until I am tired and I have proven something. In the stillness, it ain’t happenin’. It is forced R&R that helps you to see that learning to finally just “BE” will give birth to the real identity inside you. I learned most of all that I am alive and that I am who I am no matter what I do. I am not my performances or the things that I do for my friends and family. I will not be extra loved because I can do lots of things. I am loved because I am the qualities that make up my soul and connection to the world.
Being can coexist with doing. I just remember to be mindful of who I am in every moment when I am “doing” and how it feels inside doing what I’m doing. Being has no room for proving and false identities. These are external realities that create false identities that do not exist in realm of being. Being is internal. I own my being every day. Every day, a little more of me is revealed and I am closer to being original identity that came into this world. Living life on the inside of me is much warmer than trying to live in the outside, where my ego only wants me to do more until I no longer can. I am happier now and grateful for my time in the stillness.