This is the year of “finding myself”. Many would say it is about time. Others might ask: “have you been lost?” I think the concept of finding yourself is code for defining your true identity–at least for right now.
In the past–it was en vogue to go on an extended trip to Europe or go backpacking on some mountain to “find yourself”. It has also been said that a person going through a major life change such as a divorce or a mid-life crisis is also “finding themselves.”
What I think is really happening is that we have come to a point in our lives when we make a decision. A life changing decision that perhaps many around us do not understand, or approve of , and so we hide behind the “finding ourselves” cloak.
We all have a true identity. The self we recognize that knows our hopes and dreams that we were very connected with as children. We are not lost–but we are buried under layers of expectations, responsibilities, and perceptions of who we should be, what we should do, how we should act and who we should become in relation to everyone else around us.
We have many times given up our true identity in order to fit the identifiers others place on us and define us with: so and so’s daughter, Mr. X’s wife, the children’s mother and the worst one of all– being defined by the job you do.
We can accept that we are all those things based on past decisions we made, but that is not the only definition of who we are. We can behave as responsible individuals while still finding fulfillment in the life we are living.
For example, being a parent is a decision. Some may argue that the decision was made for them by a situation or circumstance–but it was at the very least a passive decision made by allowing someone else to make it for you.
Once that decision is made–responsibilities follow. It is how we handle those responsibilities that restore the identity you have of what a parent should be and how you see yourself in that role.
If you are true to your identity as a parent–even though you may make mistakes–that portion of your life will be fulfilling. And our identities are always evolving to meet the next challenge before us in that particular situation.
So in this year of finding myself–and if you are finding yourself–it really just means we are evolving. We are changing to meet the needs we identify with. I am sure you realize we are only changing those parts of our lives that are not fulfilling us–the parts that are draining us day by day.
And well we should for our own well being. For some that may be the toxic relationships in our lives. For others it may mean a change in diet and lifestyle. For many it means reevaluating their career choices. It can mean a great many things.
Finding your true identity is being comfortable in your own skin, living up to your values–even if they don’t match the values of those around you.
We must learn to be ourselves, our true selves and stop fighting against the “who” others want us to be. Ultimately it is our life–those that want to support that will be there for you. Those that don’t are probably out finding themselves too!
What I do know as I “find” myself is that it is never too late, each day gives us a renewed chance to make new decisions for ourselves that will lead to a different outcome and help us find our true identity.
What decisions are you currently struggling with that will help your life have more meaning? Where are you on your path to your true identity?
Share your thoughts below–and have fun with your search of your inner self! We have one beautiful, complicated life–LIVE it!