This is a journey we could all use a little help on. The one to our true and higher self- our real self. It isn’t an easy one and because of our uniqueness we may very likely each be in our own different place in it. But, here it is, the journey as told by me, like it can’t be told ever again because much like you the universe has created in each of us a uniqueness in the way we look, the way we feel, the way we think- one that can quite simply never be replicated.
Figuring it All Out (The You Others Want)
Let the journey begin, where the years full of radical emotions, people pleasing, and moral questioning begins-a part many of us still flow in and out of from time to time. The “fun” phase, where you get to figure it all out. Where you have permission to not know it all, not know yourself. Where you’ll make decisions based on what others want, selfish ones you admittedly want, and wreck less ones you thought you’d want. It’s where you test the waters- still figuring out how to calibrate your moral compass when it comes to navigating all of the outside noise.
But, hey, ever since we were born we’ve had someone tell us how to act, what to wear, and what to do. It’s no surprise that for at least a few years of our life we’re practically living someone else’s life, dreams, and desires. Even with the ultimate power of free will, our actions too are often influenced by what our family, our friends, and the government for years have planted in our minds subconsciously. It happens in the times we catch ourselves doing work were not passionate about, dating people who are great on paper but have no real chemistry with, or subdue our innate desires for what is socially acceptable. It’s not till a lot of falls and self shaming that we get to a point where we question everything and realize what the great Steve Jobs said himself:
“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other people’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary”
And then you have that aha! That exact aha moment I imagine Steve Job’s also had. The it’s been fun but I’m going to start doing what I want to do- whether it pleases you or not breakthrough. When we finally realize that we really can be our own best friend and worst enemy- that we can rise ourselves up to the highest level or tear ourselves down with imaginary limitations. That, ultimately, it is that person in the mirror, the person we have to look at every single day the one we ultimately need to feel good to be.
Gut check moment
Is there something you’ve done recently that made you feel uneasy? Instead of brushing it off like we tend to do when something makes us uncomfortable, take it as an opportunity to really sit with yourself and and explore what it was about the situation or action that made you feel that way. The more we practice to reflect on the things that make us uneasy the easier it is to identify situations that don’t resonate with us.
Finding Self (The You that You Truly Are)
If there was an arrival, I’d say this would be it. It’s what people travel thousands of miles around the world to search and find. It’s what most live their entire lives unknowingly seeking. The self. The you at the inner most center core of you that you are. The quiet whisper of thoughts and feelings you can only embrace and hear when you are still with your own thoughts. It’s the you that you are happy to wake up every morning to and the you that you can curl up in a ball and hug because there is just so much self love overflowing.
This is the part in the journey where you won’t do the things just to follow the crowd- and heck yes, you’ll turn down a night of going out simply to stay at home by yourself with a glass of wine and good book. It’s the you that will do the “unpopular” thing because the principle that society has established just doesn’t resonate with you. It’s the you, that you have found, accepted, and embraced with every being and are not afraid to be. It’s the just got out of the shower curly hair, crying on the floor emotional, and the goofy laughing you. The you that knows it’s okay to not be perfect in society’s view just as long as you are perfectly you.
And, sure, no matter how in the flow we can get, there will be waves that will undeniably pull us back to test and try all that we think we have just figured out about ourselves. There are people that we will subconsciously place expectations on just to be reminded life is about relying on the things you can control- what you are willing to accept and how you choose to react to other’s behavior.
But, ultimately, it all comes down to this one word, LOVE. That immense and crazy amount of love that at first project’s itself onto others when all this time it was really meant for you. For you to find and cherish within yourself. Because, when you love, you are your most vulnerable and real self.
Gut check moment
Embracing all of ourselves isn’t always pretty. Sometimes there’s is a lot of ugly we suppress in the hope of changing.But, rather than taking the “I’ll change that approach” start to identify and acknowledge your weaknesses so that you can find ways to really work on them. Start looking at your weaknesses and thinking about how it affects you and others negatively. For example, I have a close friend Giselle who tells me all the time how anxious and overly analytical she can get but how instead of succumbing to that trait she allows herself to acknowledge the times she is feeling anxious and focuses on being more laid back and not sweating the little things. Rather than changing who she is, she embraces it and finds ways to make her weaknesses stronger.
I challenge you to start, take a few steps towards getting closer to your true self. Let your mind and actions make the first move even if your hearts not in it. Have fun! Especially with the little things! Do the things that make your heart smile, your soul dance, and eyes sparkle. Do it all unapologetically, and don’t ever forget that you, before anyone else, were your first best friend, your own lover, and the first person you’ve got to love. Once you’ve found your home in yourself, the journey continues, as you practice every day staying true and expanding all that you are to share with the world.
Because, there is and never will be someone else quite like you. And, the world needs exactly what it is you’ve got to offer.