Who are you?
I mean really, who are you?
I have been asking this question to myself a lot lately and I must admit the conclusions I came to were a little startling not to mention deep. I realized that any search for happiness, love, and goodness begins with this simple question.
Who are you?
We are male, female, young, old, daughter, Canadian, married, single, thin, successful. We are categories. We are also our relationships to those categories. At least that is what we identify with at the end of the day. When searching for who we are in moments of doubt or looking for the confidence to build upon who we are we turn to those categories for support and guidance.
But is that who we really are? Are we just labels and categories?
I like to think we are more. In fact, I know we are, but how do we discover it while buried in these false and often projected labels?
Discovering who we truly are can and will take a lifetime, but introduction starts with the desire to begin. To really look deep and be brave enough to cast aside labels and our armor. After all, how can we be happy in this life if we don’t start with the basic most important connection we have to ourselves?
To begin check out these four tips to help you connect with the real you. Good luck!
The judgments we place on ourselves and others is one major way we hide and protect ourselves. We judge the people we work with, our partners, family, friends and even ourselves on reactions, jobs, age, looks. We judge then label, like a well-oiled machine.
One reason why we judge is to protect ourselves from harm. We judge out of fear. If we can sense in another person the ability to be untrustworthy, unsuccessful, or harmful then we may be able to protect ourselves from those traits. However we have taken it too far, now our judgment is ingrained within us and society so much so that we are unable to dig through what is useful information and what is a harmful habit.
One way you can begin to loosen the grip that judgment has on your connection with yourself and others is by trying to catch yourself when you are doing it. Repeat over and over, “no judgment”, or “I am being judgemental”. The next time you are in a conversation with someone notice if you are listening or judging. Make sure to use this same technique towards yourself.
Connect with what you love
What do you do in your spare time and why do you do it? There are things that we do for a reason and there are things that we do because we simply love to do them. For example, some people work out to lose weight and others work out because they love to workout. Knowing the difference is key.
Do you love animals, to read, to knit, to cook? Yes these are all things we do but they are also a part of who you are, it is a cumulation of these little things that we love that contributes to who we are.
Connect with the things that you love, and be honest with yourself. How do you spend your day? How much time do you spend doing things that you don’t love? If you can bring more things that you truly love into your life and take the time to discover new things then you can begin to connect with who you really are, its that simple. Not to mention you can begin to grow as a person and live a life you love… bonus!
Being honest with ourselves is one of the hardest and most liberating things we can do. It is also a way we can stop the judgment trap and connect with what we love and who we are. So often we are caught up in the storylines our family, friends, society and we create, that we forget to look at things honestly and purely.
From a young age, we are told who we are and what we like through our environment. It is impossible to turn off those influences, and it is important to not reject them but become diplomatic about those influences.
Don’t accept what others say about yourself or others, make up your own mind. You will inspire others to do the same, and through your honesty, you will connect with your truth.
Disconnect and connect
The struggle of being alone and independent and the struggle of opening up and putting yourself out there are two ways we remain blind to discovering our true selves.
Some people struggle with being alone, their comfort zone lies within being attached to friends, family or a partner. An over association with being a social butterfly can make it difficult to connect with your true self. Much of who you are may become blurred with who they are, and your outward projection of who you are. If you struggle with being overly connected then try disconnecting a little and doing more things independently. This can even mean unplugging from the constant stream of social media we are all so exposed too. Disconnecting can help us see what is really within without so many other influences.
The other struggle is the struggle of opening up and putting yourself out there. Some people prefer being a lone wolf, enjoy independance and their comfort zone lies within the relm of distance and introversion. While there is nothing wrong with this preference either, it can prevent you from growing and learning from others. New experiences, and pushing your comfort zone to meet different types of people can teach you a lot about yourself and others, an experience you may not get if you stay within that comfort zone.
So do you need to disconnect or connect? Or maybe a little bit of both? Have you ever tried jumping out of your comfort zone? Let me know what this experience has taught you about who you truly are. If you can’t think of how then dig deeper past the superficial experiences, there is a deeper truth there you just need to be brave enough to discover it.
Happiness comes from loving yourself, but how can you do that if you dont know who that person is? Look past the labels, push past your comfort zones, be brave and discover your true self. You might be surprised by what you discover.