Beautiful, sometimes (or perhaps oftentimes) life throws us for a loop. And if we're not already rooted in who we truly are at the core, these life changes or unexpected events can leave us feeling lost and adrift, floating in a sea of questions, gripping for meaning.
And if that life curveball challenges or shifts your identity, such as losing a loved one, a job, or your health, you might be left wondering "Who am I?".
I can label myself as wife, mother, daughter, creator, entrepreneur, coach, seeker, art journalist, martial arts fanatic, or as quiet, caring, loving... But the truth is, roles change. Beliefs change. Personality traits change. And even values sometimes change.
Who am I, really then, underneath all these roles and beliefs?
The funny thing about embarking on the journey to "find yourself" is that the harder you look, the further "yourself" becomes.
When I first got the wakeup call that threw me into a state of feeling like I didn't know who I was, I was crushed, shocked, and scared. I went into panic mode trying to find the right tools, the right teachers, the right questions that would lead me back and help me realize who the heck I am. But the more I searched, the more disconnected I felt.
The quest was long and frustrating to say the least. Until one day, a dear friend of mine, Rebecca Cavender, coached me into seeing the way in through my senses. She asked me what my favorite smells were, what my favorite tastes and sights were, and my favorite things to feel. At first I approached these questions much like any other about myself and became blocked. I had no idea.
But as she started listing off her own favorites, I was able to remember and re-experience the smells, tastes, sights, and sounds she was describing; and I was able to recognize whether they excited me, felt neutral, or turned me off.
I spent the next few days super aware of my senses and how my body reacted to them. I noticed how while I was unable to answer questions about myself from memory, I was able to confidently identify my feelings and reactions toward anything I experienced in the moment.
What I learned that year, was that "knowing yourself" is less about grasping for a definition or specific answer, and more about sinking in. (Or "rooting in" as I've come to call it.)
We are always who we are in every moment. It's not something that can get "lost" or that you need to "search" for. There's no need to grasp at it or try to define it.
We must simply be courageous enough to stop numbing out, to slow down, and truly witness our state of being and the truth of our experience in this moment. Then, you get to create who you'll be in the next.
Who you are cannot be defined as a fixed identity. Who you are at the core is a Soul with infinite possibility.
If you reflect back, you'll likely realize you're not the same person you were ten years ago, or a year ago, or even a day ago; and you can begin to understand the fluidity of your being. Every day, every moment you get to decide who you're going to be.
So perhaps a better question to ask than "Who am I?" is more along the lines of "How would I like to experience life?" or "What is my truth in this moment and how do I want to respond?".
Give yourself the gift of time and space to nurture your relationship with yourself. To express yourself and witness it through writing, journaling, painting, collage, or perhaps speaking out loud into a recorder, or talking to a therapist.
Beautiful, you are so much more than you may ever realize. You are more than your roles, your temperament, your thoughts, your mistakes, your story... You are the person who has learned from a great deal of experiences with the capacity to embrace unlimited possibility. You are a beautiful, mysterious essence, connected to all there is.
And all you can do to try to understand the magnitude of who you are, is to slow down and hope to catch a glimpse.
Always in curiosity and love,
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