Life holds a curious fascination for me, and just when I think I have one teeny aspect of it sussed, another one pops up just to keep me on my toes! Have you ever wondered about the meaning of your life? And if so, what thoughts and insights have you had? I am often curious about my own thinking and responses, sometimes being a gentle friend and other times being a harsh critic, and often confused by both!
The process of self-discovery still sometimes leaves me wanting to escape out the back door, as I lose sight of why I am doing, or not doing what I am doing, and I get caught up in and overwhelmed by the ‘not good enough’ syndrome that seems to permeate so many layers of our culture and belief system.
New research and refreshing thoughts are emerging that encourage us to celebrate and embrace our uniqueness, but the ‘how’ still largely remains elusive; in addition I think the demands society places on us, (that we buy into and get swept up by I know!), against this new research, can in a way deepen our sense of inadequacy. How do we get the balance between achievement, striving and being enough? Perhaps we don’t. Perhaps it is more about moving towards acceptance – accepting the things we can’t change and choosing to change the things we can – about what is going on around us and in us.
The fear of losing control has and sometimes is still a big dread of mine. Ironically, though, if I draw up a list of what is going on in my life right now, distinguishing between those things I can and can’t control, many of the things I spend an enormous amount of my precious energy on, are things I realise I can’t control. Are you prone to this? Why? Good question and only one each of us can answer for ourselves.
Go on, I challenge you – draw up your list and see for yourself! This exercise can bring clarity and choice, and with this, comes relief and a clearing of that blanket of anxiety and overwhelm that goes hand-in-hand with the dread of losing control.
My journey to now has been peppered by experiences, each of which have moulded and shaped me to be who I am today.
It seems as if the first 25-odd years of my life were somewhat of a blur with me being robotically tugged and pulled in many different directions, not really knowing which path to follow – retrospectively, I realise I didn’t always choose the smoothest path (sometimes I didn’t even know I was choosing), but I have found, as you may have too, it is often over the roughest bits of ground, that we learn to trust the wisdom in the lessons.
The wisdom in some of my lessons:
- Everybody has their own story equally as real and valid as I perceive my own to be
- Taking responsibility is liberating and scary; that’s okay even though I won’t always admit it
- Perhaps it really is possible to have a loving, accepting and respectful relationship with myself (well most of the time anyway)
- Discovering, stepping into and owning my uniqueness will sometimes mean criticism, rejection, mistakes, ridicule …. and retraction …… but courageous self-expression will continue until the day I die, because as long as I am alive, expressing ‘myself’ uniquely is the only way I know how to ‘be’
- Comparison, judgement and blame are all a waste of energy and time. Lick your wounds, learn the lessons and start again
- Choosing to choose is a good place to start. If you don’t somebody else will and you may not like the outcome
No matter what is unfolding in your life, some days will be more productive, happier and fulfilling than others and some days you may struggle to find meaning.
Tools I have learnt over the years will help you to discover how to actively face each day, with a healthy self-esteem. This process really is life changing and richly rewarding and once you have a taste of it, you won’t ever want to be without it.