"Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom." - Lao Tzu.
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, you may not always realize that you are slowly straying away from your true self. Bit by bit, the endless things you have to deal with every day and the countless roles you have to play can cause you to put on layers of identities. Given enough time, these layers can get so thick that the core of your being starts to suffocate under all that weight.
It is then that you realize that something is wrong. You begin to feel like something is missing from your life, and you need to find it asap to fix how you're feeling. But despite your best efforts, you may not quite find what you're looking for. That's because you might be looking for the wrong things. You see, to relieve yourself of the burden you feel, you shouldn't be looking for something or someone. You should be looking for you. Sounds crazy right?
When you find your way back to yourself, guaranteed, you will feel joyful and at peace. It's like coming back home after a long vacation. There's a reason why they call it "home sweet home." So I think it's safe to say that finding yourself is like finding your way back home. It feels natural, safe, authentic, and pleasantly freeing. But how exactly do you do that? How do you find your own self?
Getting Back To Who You Are
As I said above, we tend to put on many different layers of identities in the normal course of life. You might be a mom, a daughter, a wife, a sales manager, a sibling, etc etc. All these roles require you to do certain things and act a certain way. And no matter how well you perform these roles, you shouldn't forget one critical thing - you are an individual, first and foremost.
I once heard a saying that has stuck with me through all these years. It goes, "Take care of number one and number one will take care of everything else." Now that's deep. I actually heard this phrase when I was a child from a very wise woman, my mother. Spend some time to ponder upon this fact, and I guarantee this will be enlightening. And before you even ask, let me tell you that thinking this way is not selfish at all. In fact, this awareness is the first step to finding yourself.
You see, you understand what you give time to. It's as simple as that. So, it's only natural that if you spend some time alone, tend to your needs and desires, take care of your thoughts and emotions, you will understand yourself more than you ever have. These are the same things you do to understand someone you are dating, right? So why can't you do this for yourself? Consider this as a self-date, if you will.
Take yourself out on a date and treat yourself. Buy a new outfit from Leilani's Boutique and dress yourself up. Remember a time you used to do this often? Yeah, doing it again will help you reconnect with that older, more authentic version of yourself. Similarly, you can spend time on your hobbies, chat with friends from high school, eat your favorite food, take some well-deserved rest, watch your favorite movies, spend quality time with your partner, and do anything else that you love doing. This will help you peel off all those layers you have accumulated and get to the bottom of who you are.
Another piece of advice that I can give you is to remember how your younger self was. Growing up, your responsibilities and experiences can change you into something you are not. Therefore, to figure out who you are at the innermost core of your being, you need to go back in time and remember your younger self. That person is probably a better representation of your true self. To that end, you can read your old journals, go through old photos, ask your parents about the nuances of your personality, and just piece together that younger self. This should help immensely.
Why It's Important
We all know that life is a journey, a long and unrelenting one. To make sure you can embark upon it and traverse it well, you need to start from a place of stability and peace. Only when you are stable and balanced within yourself can you solve the countless challenges in your way and fulfill your dreams and desires.
One way to achieve that stability is to really know who you are. As the quote at the beginning of this post says, there is true wisdom in doing that. Everything else automatically falls into place when you are in tune with your inner being. You somehow begin to understand what you need to do, how you need to do it, and when. Even at times when you won’t have the answers to these questions, you won’t lose your way. This stability and calmness can be your greatest blessing, especially in the world that we are living in today. Therefore, as so many wise people that came before us have said, begin by finding yourself. The eternal joy of doing so awaits you!