Every time I begin writing, I always ask myself, “why don’t I do this more often? I mean I get so much enjoyment from it, why do I wait so long in between to actually write again?” Well let me tell you why. It’s because I’m lazy. Yup. There it is. No, actually it’s not just that. It’s because I am afraid. It’s fear. It’s always fear that holds us back, isn’t it?
I have all these great topics inside of my head mostly inspired by all of the podcasts I listen to and influential people I research, and yet the posts are not flowing out of my fingers. Why? Because I think they are not good enough. Or rather that I am not good enough to write them. I worry that nobody reads them, and you know, nobody probably does, but that shouldn’t stop me! I shouldn’t be putting out content just because I want some kind of recognition or affirmation that I am a good writer or that I am helping someone. I should do it plainly because I want to. Because it is my calling, or my screaming, rather as Elizabeth Gilbert would say.
Speaking of Elizabeth Gilbert, this post is loosely inspired by her latest podcast episode on Magic Lessons, where she speaks of this idea of us each of us having our callings, and that if we are not truly passionate about something and it is not giving us energy or making us feel alive, then obviously we are not running after our calling – because naturally our calling should be something screaming at us and not simply existing in our daily lives.
While my post today isn’t directly about running after our callings, it is about finding ourselves, or rather just being our true selves. You’d be surprised to find out that many people aren’t true to who they are. Most people are usually either hiding a part of themselves by pretending to be something they are not or running away from a part of themselves because they don’t want to be exposed. Not many people are brave enough to actually be their true selves – however imperfect, weird, broken, or strange of a self that is. Because we live in a world where being ourselves is a very unnatural thing.
The world today is constantly telling us to be something else. Instead of standing out, try to fit in. Instead of following your dreams, do what is safe. Instead of liking purple, like orange, because orange is more in. You get the point. The world is never happy with who you are. It promotes competition rather than acceptance. But I guess competition is interesting, right? If we all accepted each other and allowed ourselves to just be who we are, then it would be too easy.
What is so wrong with being ourselves? Why is so scary about it? Are we that afraid of originality and uniqueness? And yet what I find funny is that there are all these other people promoting uniqueness, and yet everyone still just copies each other because they are so afraid to truly be unique, to truly just be themselves. They want to fit in. They want to belong. And I get it. Belonging is one of our deepest human needs. But there can be another way to find belonging – that is simply by accepting each other for who we are.
But I’m getting a little off topic here I guess. Me and my rants on today’s society. Can you tell that I have many issues with the direction that the world is headed into?
But anyway, what I’m trying to get at is that I feel that for the last several years I have been a very lost soul. I was probably a lost soul before that, but my awareness of being lost only happened a few years ago after my breakdown I guess. Up until that point, I was just like the many other people who pretend and hide and run. I just wanted to fit in. I wanted to do what was right or what was expected.
But once you almost lose control over your entire life, reality hits you hard and fast and you almost become forced with facing your true self even if you don’t want to. I think that the only way to truly find ourselves is to face ourselves first.
Why is it so hard to face ourselves? Why do we run from who we are? I think we are afraid of being exposed, that if we reveal our true selves, people will not like who we are and reject us. And we can’t handle that rejection. So we hide who we are. We try our best to mold ourselves and fit in and please others, but then we often find that after a while we don’t even know ourselves anymore or our true identities.
I feel like an imposter all the time, even now, even as I write this. I feel like I am not a writer. What gives me the credit to actually give advice or to write this? I feel like an imposter because I show people how to be happy and yet I still struggle with trying to be happy myself. I feel like an imposter because I am guilty of carefully crafting my own social media pages so that it appears to the outside world that my life is amazing, when in reality, I struggle. I am human still. I am weak still. I still struggle with so many problems of my own and yet I try and hide them instead of facing them, revealing them, sharing them, unburdening myself from the shame weighing down on me from running from them.
I am trying not to do this anymore, but of course, no one is ever perfect, but we can try our best to actively become more aware and in tune with our true selves – not being afraid of being vulnerable or exposing too much to others. Sure, it comes with risks, everything we do involves some kind of risk, but I think the reward is far greater. Being able to be ourselves is truly the best gift we can give ourselves. It takes too much energy to pretend, eventually the facade will collapse. Eventually we will all be faced with the mirror with time and we won’t be able to run any further.
I promise it isn’t as scary as you think. Once you can begin to befriend the different parts of yourself, rather than distinguish your lesser parts as your enemy, I think you will find that it’s better that way. It’s better not to be ashamed of your brokenness, or the fact that you are less than perfect in certain ways, or that you are quirky in others. It’s better to actually embrace these traits and to allow yourself that freedom to just be who you are. It’s not a bad thing. It’s what makes you YOU. And sometimes you find that you have parts of yourself inside you that you didn’t even know existed, parts that only will reveal themselves if you gently coax them out with your own acceptance.
I’m still trying to discover who I really am. I know I am definitely far from perfect. My past is far from perfect. My present is still unfolding, and my future, I’m pretty confident will be bright if I manifest it to be. I know that I can be emotional and that you will always know when something is bothering me. I know that I try and pretend far too often that I’m ok, but in reality, I really just need a hug or someone to tell me, ‘it’s ok.‘ I think people often perceive me as shy, or even sometimes as unfriendly, but really I’m probably just intimidated or lacking in confidence of what to say, but when you open me up, there’s an entire world of wisdom waiting to be released into a good conversation. I am very sympathetic, and as much as I don’t show it out loud, I have a huge heart for hurting people, especially those who I know are going through events similar to what I’ve experienced. I want to help people. And I want to start doing so more directly rather than just hiding behind a screen and typing some words (although, writing will always be the most comfortable medium for me to express myself in.)
I know so far that I want to live a life that is adventurous. I want to explore and learn as much as I possibly can. I don’t want to live a life hiding in fear or obeying to fear. I want to live a life filled with as much love in my heart as possible, for myself, for others, and for nature. I want to create change, even if it’s just on a small scale of helping a few people learn to love themselves more.
I want to reveal myself. I want to be myself. Because I miss that. I feel like we are our true selves in childhood and then as we grow up, the world tries it’s hardest to break us down, telling us that we must be a certain way or else we won’t fit in. So we lose our childlike innocence and playfulness. We set our dreams aside and look to things that will bring us more security, more money, more fame, more credibility. We forget what it was like to simply let ourselves be. To have fun. To relax. To enjoy.
Instead, we fixate on making sure the parts of ourselves that we think won’t be accepted are properly hidden, and focus rather on enhancing what we think people will find more interesting. We end up running from ourselves. Building up a fear that makes us believe that if we are truly exposed we will be unwanted. How is this a way to live? How is this a way to thrive? How is this a way to truly connect?
There is no connection without vulnerability. There is no trust without vulnerability. And without connection and trust, we cannot love. If we do not connect with or trust ourselves, we will never be able to truly love ourselves. If we cannot connect or trust other people, we will never be able to love others. And that is ultimately what we are commanded to do.
The Self Love Challenge:
Stop running from yourself. Face who you are, accept it, love it, and show who you truly are to the world.
P.S. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @Christina.Ciro or on Facebook! Love you all and thanks for the support!