Who do you think you are? Not in a finger-pointing, neck-rolling type of way as though you just offended somebody, but as it relates to who you think you are relative to who others think you are. Do you agree with who others think you are or do you think differently?
Many of us were told as children who we were and/or who we were expected to be, good or bad. And along the way, those opinions were reinforced by the authority figures in our lives: parents, relatives, friends, bosses, coworkers, and even complete strangers (especially Social Media). Society is great at telling people who they should or shouldn’t be, how they should or shouldn’t behave, and how they should or shouldn’t live their lives. Because we hear those narratives repeatedly throughout our lives, we come to accept those opinions as fact. But is it really?
Trying to live up to the expectations (sometimes unreasonable) of others can prove to be a stressful existence. So much so, that some people end up in the deep, dark hole of depression; and in the worst cases, end up taking their own lives. I am all too familiar with that hole. Although I never got to the point where I considered taking my own life, I have been to rock bottom and felt like I would end up being a permanent resident there. Little did I know, that rock bottom experience would be the beginning of my journey to self-discovery (and changing the narrative of who I thought I was), finding my truth, and learning to live that truth – unapologetically. Once you hit rock bottom you can’t sink any further, so the only way left to go is up.
In the beginning, it really doesn’t seem like you’re going anywhere. It doesn’t feel like you’re making any progress. That’s usually because you’re still caught up in all the emotional stuff. But like the clouds clearing on a rainy day, eventually the emotional stuff clears enough for you to start to gain a sense of clarity. Once you get past the “feelings” you begin to see the lesson(s) that you need to learn. Every experience is a learning experience, no matter how bad it may seem. Usually it’s a lesson meant to awaken you to who you truly are as the wonderful and powerful spiritual being that you are.
When you begin to awaken to your truth it can be a scary experience. It will force you to take a long, hard, honest look at yourself. You will be forced to acknowledge your faults and flaws. And even more difficult, is learning to accept and love yourself anyway. No one is perfect, so once you learn to accept that, you can learn to accept yourself. You will be forced to look at everything you believe and why. That can be especially difficult and scary because sometimes it means going against what you’ve been taught to believe culturally, religiously, or socially. That brings about fear of rejection from those whose approval means the most to you. However, when you actually begin to live your truth, sometimes it will be inevitable. But that’s OK, because again, it is YOUR truth. No one else’s.
Once you take that long, hard look in the mirror and acknowledge your shortcomings, then you are in a prime position to start working on them. That can be a lengthy process though. We live in a time when everything is expected to be quick, fast, and in a hurry. If it doesn’t happen instantly, we’re tempted to throw it to the side and try to find the next best thing. Change doesn’t happen overnight when you’re trying to undo years, even decades, of living by others’ expectations. The key to progress is being patient with yourself. Acknowledge that at this point in the process you’re like a baby learning to walk. You will take a few successful steps and then fall. The key is getting back up every time you fall. Babies don’t fall once and then decide to quit and just give up on walking. They don’t look at themselves as failures and tell themselves they’ll never be able to walk, so why bother trying. No, they keep trying until they get it right. They may even hurt themselves when they fall; they’ll cry for a spell then get right back up and try again. Self-discovery is no different. You have to figure out what doesn’t work in order to find out what does. Trial and error plain and simple. On your journey to self-discovery, you will always need to ask yourself along the way, “Who do you think you are?” As you learn more and more about yourself and your personal truth, who you think you are will change, many times. Have you started your journey towards self-discovery? If so, what prompted you to start your journey, and how difficult was it to start? How can you help others start their journey?
Let’s get lifted!