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[Excerpt from Michael Speaks: May 2009] [Martha] Last week you talked on TLE radio about it getting uncomfortable for older souls around feeling “authentic”. This is something I am currently working on. It feels wrong somehow to not be myself, especially at work, or social settings, but then if I am completely myself in all situations then I out myself as being “not normal”. And it’s hard to have to deal with that over mundane issues, seems like it would add unnecessary complexity to some aspects of life. Can you elaborate on this issue? [Michael Entity] Martha, this is a common dilemma for the Older Souls and is rooted in what we refer to as Self-Karma, the internal divisions within the self that seek resolution. This particular Self-Karma can be described as a battle between honest expression and censorship. To most Older Souls, censorship feels repulsive, and this is amplified for the Expressive Roles. In fact we would be hard-pressed to find any valid Old Soul who supported any form of censorship. Censoring oneself as a means to “fit in” feels like one is a “walking lie,” or liar, and enforcing censorship upon others is something we have never seen an Old Soul impose. [Martha] yes it does feel like that [Michael Entity] How others see you has no bearing on who you are. It is not always a matter of integrity in expression that your Being be clearly reflected back to you through those around you. In fact, being able to adapt to certain social contexts is a skill implemented by the Older Soul (begrudgingly, but a skill, nonetheless,) and not a curse. The feeling of “not being yourself” has no bearing on your levels of honesty, nor your integrity of Being. Ultimately, all fragments extant will find themselves in contexts where they can say, “This is who I am,” and other contexts where they say, “This is who I must be.” In those instances where one feels one “must be,” it would then be up to you to determine if this is a context worth sustaining in your life, or if it is time to move from that context. For many, the “must be” context is required for the self to draw an income, maintain peace in a relationship, fulfill responsibilities, etc. Many fragments “must be” a parent, even when they do not want to be. Many fragments “must be” at work, even when they do not want to be. The experience in sustaining these contexts, even through those bad days, is the implementation of your higher perspective, or manifesting of Essence, since you can see the payoff and the necessity of your choice. In those instances that you have decided that the context is worth it, then it would do you well to recognize that you have made an honest choice, ironically upholding the integrity of your Being, your soul and personality, since you know this is a context that gives back to you in a way that is valuable for other areas where you feel you “can be yourself.” Eventually, the Personality will find little discrepancy in itself between one context and another, especially as one owns the fact that those contexts are being sustained by choice, even if only “for now.” We will also note that every fragment can find at least one other fragment in which to confide and “be herself” in any context where one feels limited. This relationship is one that can be found with some amount of discernment and patience, provided one is not being held captive and against one’s will, which is a karmic situation, not a situation of choice. [Martha] clearly then it’s crucial to have some areas where you can be yourself [jon] Is it ever truly required for a fragment to stay in one of those contexts? For example, you may need a job to eat and stay alive, or one could be a slave, required to act a certain way or die [Michael Entity] Jon, Slavery is often not a matter of choice, but the same concepts would apply within those stricter limitations: one’s imposed environment does not destroy who one IS, even in the most horrific conditions lacking choice, and confidence in at least one other fragment is often available even within those conditions.