I could sit here and verbally diarrhea a bunch of negative outcomes associated with my past. I bet you could too. I could also craft a masterpiece on the injustices of life for having splashed cold water on many of my dreams. I could even take it further and describe in detail the characters of swine I cast my precious emotional petals on. I would easily get an excellent score on that one. Believe me. Fortunately, for all our sake, I won’t do that. First, because who cares really? Second, I am guessing you’ve got your own story as well—who doesn’t?
And now to what truly matters.
You see, I’ve had moments where I’ve gone through my pile of mistakes one by one, trying to spot the missing piece. And while I really couldn’t change anything in the past, I did unravel something of value. This is the awareness that finding oneself is the only way to bring healing, as well as protecting you from the hurt of others.
So what exactly is finding yourself?
1. It is listening to your own voice.
Surprised? Don’t be. Believe it or not, it is possible to live an entire lifetime without mastering the art of hearing your voice. This happens more often than not.
Your voice is that thing that tells you to say NO when you’d normally say yes. It even tells you when to walk away when people don’t treat you the way you feel you’d like to be treated.
2. It is knowing there’s nothing wrong with you.
Really there isn’t.
I see you shaking your head in disagreement, but I mean it. You are okay just as you are. You are enough. You are the complete package. Sure, there might be many things that you need to change here and there and perhaps a few rough edges that need ironing out. But at the end of the day, we all got stuff to sort out. We’ve all got our work cut out for us.
Take me, for example. I am still trying to develop a thick skin because I am so damn sensitive. One small comment and I will retract to my shell faster than a tortoise. You get the drill.
Whatever you need to work on, get to it; get your hands dirty if you must. But keep in mind that fundamentally, there’s nothing wrong with you.
3. It’s understanding you can never find yourself in someone else.
How I wish I was born with this truth engraved on my forehead as a constant reminder. Honestly, it would have made my life less messy. You see, you can go ahead and marry the most powerful, wealthy, and sexy person, but that will never do anything to fix you.
Nothing at all.
The truth is, only you can fix yourself. You alone are responsible for your life. You are the hero you seek after. As Rumi said, “The inspiration you seek is already within you. Be silent and listen.”
4. It is acknowledging you have what it takes to move your life up.
You only need to look back at the journey of your life—the strides you’ve made, the milestones you’ve achieved.
You are still the same person.
Sure, you may tell yourself that times have changed, the economy is on a downward spiral, or you are not as strong as you once were, or something along those lines. But hey, there’s no reason under the sun why you should resign to a suboptimal life. All you need is the will to do it. This is everything. Beyond that, the oceans will part for you to go through.
So yeah, go ahead and hit the gym if you need to, take that course, leave that toxic relationship, quit that self-destructive habit. Do it today. You have what it takes.
5. It is recognizing your uniqueness as a good thing.
Who says we have to all fit in? Imagine what a boring world this would be? Quit trying to fit in and embrace your uniqueness. In fact, I dare say, flaunt it. It’s exactly what we need to spice up this thing called life. Otherwise, it’s all just a flavorless experience.
It’s okay if you never get married. It’s okay if you never want kids. It’s okay if you never get that degree. It’s also okay if you move to Timbuktu, just as long as you are being true to yourself.
In the end, you will only have a truly fulfilling life when you find out who you are. Granted, this is a continuous process that will involve checking in with yourself often, but it is worth it. It will not only keep you from making the same mistakes you’ve been making all your life, it will also help you raise the bar in your life.
Wouldn’t you want that?