Self discovery seems to take up a lot of time in our life. There seems to be an assumption that you must search for you because you do not know who you are. So you go along this journey you call life collecting various labels to attach to in order to gain a sense of identity, a sense of who you are. I am a woman, a mother, a grandmother. I am intelligent because I have a degree. I am Greek, I am British and whatever else I have identified myself with over the course of the years.
What happens when one of these labels no longer fits? Well from my experience, you lose a sense of who you are. You then try to find new labels, new ways of gaining an understanding of who you are. But what if you just stopped for a minute and paid attention to who you are, what if you removed all the labels and looked at yourself authentically.
What if you stopped asking who am I and just allowed yourself to be?
Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself – Rumi
When you go about your life in search of an identity you lose the essence of life. You are always searching, trying to find something outside of you that can fit and make you feel whole. When you are feeling empty or something seems to be missing, the assumption is that you can nurture that feeling with something outside of you. But the reality is that all that you are is already within you, only when you connect with yourself can you fill that void.
The problem I guess for many of us is that this idea of not searching, not looking for more than what we already are, is difficult to understand. The idea that you are who you are, that’s it. No need to search or try to explain or even discover. After all if you are all that you are, right there, then self discovery is not necessary.
How Can You Connect With Who You Are?
Firstly try having a heart to heart conversation with yourself. Yes it may sound a little crazy but give it a go every now and again. Oh and remember to listen to the answers. Don’t change the answers to sound better or even deny what comes up, just listen without judgment.
Complete and utter self acceptance. Sounds hard to do doesn’t it? After all aren’t we always told we should be self improving? Doesn’t that mean that we should never just accept who we are? I’d argue that we are perfect as we are, accepting that is a empowering place to be. Does that mean you have to accept that you can’t evolve into a person with higher awareness? No it doesn’t but it does mean that whatever you want to be is already present within you.
Self acceptance also means that you accept that you are not perfect, that nobody is perfect, that life itself is not perfect and with that acceptance find peace with the things that are not as you wish them to be.
And this means that we just live our lives without trying to be anything or anyone, just living.
How Do You Just Live?
Isn’t it funny how the simple things become so complicated when you start to think about it? How do you just live? How do you just be who you are?
The main thing is to come out of your head. To begin let go of the thoughts you attach to about who you or are not. Start paying attention to these thoughts and perhaps work on letting go of any attachments you may have to labels about yourself. And just live – no identity needed.
Thought it would also be great to share this post where Lady Gaga talks about the power of saying no and how she started to find herself again.
You are not your thoughts and you are not the product of your thoughts – Alan Finger
It feels apt for me to be talking about toxic people this morning as I am now at a point in my life that not even what is deemed as my duty is enough for me to put up with toxic people in my life. The challenge is when these toxic people present themselves as friends and family. Then it becomes a choice of putting up with or walking away and for me right now, it’s not a choice. If a relationship with anyone does not include respect, love, appreciation and genuine goodness then there is no place for it in my life.
What Happens When These Toxic People Are Family?
People always say that you should respect your family but that’s because there is an assumption that your family has treated you well. What happens when that is not the case? Should we still respect them?
“Respect is not freely given, it is earned. You do not owe anyone respect, you do not owe anyone anything.”
This line about owing respect to people just because they are family is used as emotional abuse, it is often used to manipulate and control. Respect is never a given, it is earned and that includes close friends and family.
I would argue that it is even more important that those close to you respect you because if they can’t then what gives them the right to sit close by you through your life?
If there are people in your life that rule you through fear, belittle you and do not appreciate you, it is time to exit their life.
“If they do not appreciate what you bring to the table, let them eat alone”
This isn’t saying “I hate you” – It’s saying “I LOVE ME!”
People Want You To Make Them Feel Good
Ultimately all relationships are based on how we feel when we are with others. If being around someone does not feel good, then it’s unlikely to be a good relationship. When that other person is family then we tend to put up, suffer the bad feelings out of duty. However is that just accepting another one of those expectations society has us believe is the right thing to do?
I think it’s also another example of attachment because moving away from family means breaking a lifetime of attachment. But in fact no relationship without mutual respect and appreciation is a valid relationship.
You owe it to yourself to realise that as people grow they either grow together or they grow apart. If that growth takes people into different directions and that person no longer has a positive affect on you, then you have to let it go. Otherwise you hinder your own growth.
To be truly authentic in life, you must be true to your core values. Are you a slave to loyalty?
We Are All Born Uniquely Different, Not One of Us Like Another.
I believe that is because we are born with an authentic self. I see that even more since my twin granddaughters were born. Watching them grow has shown me that even though they may look almost identical, they are very much two uniquely different people. Even at a year old their authentic self is shining through in different ways.
Finding Our Authentic Self
Our need to fit in, to be part of the wider group makes us cover up the parts we find hard to accept about ourselves. Not many of us are comfortable with being different, even though we are all unique. We fight that uniqueness because it scares us, until one day we don’t even know who are are.
I wrote this (very authentic however in no way polished) a few weeks ago and decided to share it just as it is. I’ve put the work in and come to accept what I call the good, the bad and the ugly about myself. Either way they are all part of me and I’m happy to accept what is.
In My Life I Have Been Many People.
A daughter, sister, mother, teacher, wife, friend, grandmother and even a lover.
Each one of these “people” has a label attached, an expected behaviour and a way of being.
Until eventually these labels become who we think we are.
One day, if we are fortunate, we get a wake up call. When I got mine at first I could not see the gift, it was clouded in sadness.
When the clouds finally evaporated there was a rebirth. So great, so exciting that the death of all those labels released the pain, the sadness to allow the powerful Awakening to happen.
They say for someone to be born another must die. Such is the nature of life – A cycle of birth and death.
To fully appreciate life we must accept the inevitability of death.
Death allows us to detach from what no longer serves us, so we can finally uncover the authentic self.
No Labels Needed – Being is Enough
How Do We Find Our Authentic Self?
Do you wonder why it is that we seem to feel this void in our lives, it doesn’t matter what we do, who we are with or what we have achieved, there is always this feeling that something is missing? That is a disconnect with our authentic self.
To get back to our essence, we must have the courage to let go of what does not serve us.
We must even let go of the people who no longer serve us and yes sometimes that may even be people very close to us.
We must have the courage to look deep within to understand, accept and embrace all that we are. Then we can begin to reconnect with our authentic self.
Walk in your truth