Where do we look and how will we know when we have found ourselves? Achieving great success, fulfilling aspirations, and living a comfortable life may not be enough. Feeling safe and secure may not provide the sense of self we want. We all seek purpose and meaning in life, but we may be looking in the wrong places. It’s an inside job. We need to accept who we are and stop comparing ourselves to others if we want to find ourselves. Accepting our idiosyncrasies, flaws, and personality traits is part of the process of finding self. Recognizing our value and talents even in our differences helps us to explore further our true being.
Finding ourselves may also require us to clear out any excessive baggage from the past. When we preserve and/or irritate old wounds they won’t heal and prevent us from living life fully. Confronting our fears, letting go of our resentments, and taking responsibility for our pain can enable us to discover our sense of self. Part of this process is being still, listening, and reflecting on who we are and where we’re going. As a Christian, I believe my true identity is found in Christ, but, like all people, we still need to find our particular path. We also have to get out of our heads and into our hearts since that is the source of our true self. Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” Sometimes being lost and trusting the process is necessary for change and growth.
We may have to let go of what we have in order to find out what we need. When we figure out who we are, our decisions, actions, and feelings change and are not primarily based on others opinions. We gain a sense of independence, freedom, and control over our destiny. We can do or say embarrassing things without fearing judgment or ridicule. How we spend our time whether it be in relationships or work seems right and comfortable more often than not. Remember that we teach others how to love us by the way we love ourselves.