“Are you crazy?” How many times have we heard that over the years? Usually, that question is followed by something like, "Why would you want to do something like that?” Or, “WHO ARE YOU and what have you done with my mother, daughter, sister, partner, friend, coworker etc?" And when faced with those kinds of comments (yes, they are more of a comment on others insecurities than on our own abilities) it can stop us in our tracks and bring up all of those internal voices telling us we are not enough.
I’ve found over the years that women seem to be on this perpetual search to "find themselves", often stemming from the feeling that there is something missing in their life or that they just haven't quite gotten "there" yet. But, where IS "there"? I'm guessing, "there" is that sweet spot when everything is finally in its right place, bills are paid, we have some money in the bank, we are stress free and life is smooth sailing. HA!! Never...ever...ever (insert Taylor Swift singing in the background) is that EVER going to happen, Sisters! Why? Because once you "get there" the target will always move!
And that moving target is exactly what members in the professed self-help, enlightened, and spiritual communities are banking on. It's what feeds not only into our consumerist notion of reaching nirvana but fuels our neurosis as well. I get it! I'm in the industry - and it is a fine line to walk between doing the work and adding to the problem. Look, nobody has all the answers and if they tell you they do - run! As someone who works in this industry, I understand the irony of it all. Hey, I love a great workshop, homily, book, Podcast or blog just as much as the next Sister, but Sweet Jesus, the quest of finding yourself and inner peace is EXHAUSTING! And, if I'm being totally honest, at some points in my life, my greatest spiritual teacher has been a pint of Chunky Monkey and a bong hit!
This shouldn't be something to be frustrated by, but to embrace. To truly live, is about enjoying where we currently are and embracing the ebb and flow of life. We can learn a lot from Mother Nature. Plants learn to adapt to the elements around them. Trees will extend their roots in search of water and nourishment. We have probably all seen that random flower that sprouts up from the tiniest crack in the sidewalk. While kayaking recently in the Adirondacks I saw this tree growing out of a rock in the middle of the lake. Never complaining - struggling at times but adapting. INCREDIBLE determination. The magic of it all! I literally sat there just looking at that growth in the rock for what seemed like an eternity.
To find oneself is to realize that you are fine exactly the way you are right now, if of course, that’s where you want to be! But, when it is time to make a change to your current situation, be it job, significant other, friends, or whatever; and it no longer serves your highest and greatest good – take action. I'm not talking about living one’s life like everything is disposable, including people; but realizing that as we grow we change. With that growth, as difficult as the struggle may be at times, we need to let go of some things and PUSH through at others. Simply put, sometimes situations, things and people hold us back from truly living. When that is the case, let go and continue on this journey called GROWTH. But, the balancing act is also recognizing that on some days, we just need to simply BE in it.
My best friend has given me sage advice over the years and some of the best advice she ever gave me was this, "Part of the beauty of being an adult is that you get to change your mind! You never have to be stuck or stay somewhere you don't want to be. You get to choose!"
So, is finding yourself a real thing Sisters? I think it is! But, who I am today is NOT who I will be tomorrow or next week or next year. Look at a picture of yourself as a baby. Now look at yourself at 12, 18, 21, 30, 40, 50, keep going. WHO ARE YOU? Are you the infant? The 21-year old thinking she can take on the world? The new bride, mother, employee? Which one is you? They ALL ARE! But, every single blood cell, tissue, oxygen molecule in our body has changed, is different than the ones in those pictures, at those moments. But they are all us trying to find ourselves. And each moment, each day, each year, was real and hard and exciting and scary and beautiful and exactly the way it was supposed to be to get us to where we are today!
Finally, as you continue the search to find yourself, recreating, peeling back the many layers, letting go and taking on, don't forget to occasionally stop. As a challenge for you, when you're done reading, get up and go look into the mirror. As you look at the reflection, in that moment, guess what? There you are! You found yourself...at least for now!