Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves. ~Henry David Thoreau
I think to lose oneself is one of the worst tragedies in life. When you wake up one day and look in the mirror only to realize that you no longer know the person staring back at you. The person does look familiar but then again, they look like a part of a distant memory.
I have lost myself.
I don’t know how it happened. There now seems to exist two Dianas. There is one in my mind and another one staring back at me from the mirror. The one in my mind came up as a result of social expectations. My authentic self disappeared in the midst of all the media influence, the career expectations, what my friends, family, and employers want me to be. In the process of trying to meet everyone’s expectations. The real Diana slowly slipped away unnoticed.
I would like to reconnect with the woman in the mirror again. This is why I have decided to journey within, to shut out the world and find myself again.
If like me, you feel like you have lost your authentic self, below are some tips to help you reconnect with who you are. Take this journey with me; let us be seekers of ourselves!
“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.” Albert Camus
In most of the research material that I have come across, there is one advice that is normally offered to everyone of a self-discovery path. It is advised that you be yourself and stop trying to be the person that other people want you to be. Think about what you would do if you didn’t have restrictions such as money or even family obligations. Where would you go? What kind of life would you like to be living? What kind of person would you like to be living with?
Most of us keep planning on taking a vacation when we get enough money. However, the thing is, you may never get enough money. Therefore, you need to take that vacation now. Look for a place that you can afford. You could be surprised to find out that there are many places that fit the budget that you are working with right now.
Taking a break from all your worries will give you a chance to be at peace all by yourself. This will allow you to think and discover what is wrong in your life. Once you know what is not working, you will be in a much better position to fix it.
Resolve to be thyself; and know that he who finds himself, loses his misery. ~Matthew Arnold, “Self-Dependence,”
Keep a journal
One way of reconnecting with yourself is through journaling. Take some time and write down whatever is on your mind. Put your feelings down on paper. If you are angry, vent.
I started this exercise recently and I was surprised. Things that I hadn’t even acknowledged yet came to the surface. Anger and hurt, suddenly came up. I didn’t even know that I was that angry. Writing down my feelings has definitely been very therapeutic. Get a diary today and capture those good and bad moments of your day. In the pages of your diary, you may find yourself.
What do you love?
It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy. ~Lucille Ball
Many times, we lose sight of what is important to us and start focusing on what we think should be important to us. These are the things that society has led us into believing that do matter. However, you need to dig deep and find out what works for you. Think about what makes you truly happy.
In my case, I discovered that listening to some good ol skul music does the trick for me. That is how I relax. Music is my mood changer. This is what calms me and gets me upbeat when I need to be. Since I made this discovery, I make a point of listening to music as much as I can. I start my day with my favorite songs and end it the same way. The ocean is another thing that brings me peace. It is for this reason that I make numerous trips down to the coast.
I also enjoy watching comedies early in the morning before work. One 20 minutes episode can brighten my whole day and lighten my mood throughout. Therefore, I make it a point to watch a comedy as I have breakfast in the morning.
Do you remember the last time when you were truly happy? Do you remember that time when you had no worries and the world seemed at peace? Write it down, this will help you in your journey to discovering what truly makes you happy.
You need to sit down and find out what works for you!
“The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.” Aldous Huxley
It is said that you need to be able to shut out the world and focus on yourself solely if you truly seek to reconnect with yourself. We all need to get some alone time. However, not all of us can do this. Most people think it’s extravagant to be alone even for ten minutes only. Other people are actually terrified of being alone. I have had house guests who are like that. They end up following you from room to room just to avoid being completely alone.
I do not have a problem with solitude since am much of an introvert/loner. What I do with my time alone maybe the problem. I watch TV, work or listen to music or sleep. I am never really alone with my thoughts. I get distracted easily. If I try to meditate, something always comes up.
However, true solitude means just being by yourself for a period of time. It is actually advised that you take some “me time” every day for at least ten minutes. Do not think about work or your money worries during this time. However, meditate on something positive. Think about yourself. Spend time with yourself and get to know the real, authentic person living in you.
When you are gone
Have you ever thought about dying? Ever wondered what it would be like when you are no longer around? What would people say about you? Which words will they use to describe you? Take a minute and think about this. Then write down the words that you would like others to use to describe you. These words represent the person that you would like to be. Once you figure them out, you will figure out your authentic self. You can then start working towards embracing the characteristics that you desire to see in yourself.
Learn to be independent
Most times, when we think about independence, we think of financial self-sufficient. People who can provide for themselves are considered to be independent. However, to find yourself, you have to be self-sufficient even emotionally. If you are like me, always picking up the phone whenever in a tough situation, you have to change this habit. Next time you feel overwhelmed; try to change your situation on your own without calling people to help you. If you completely fail to get yourself out of the dark situation, then ask for help. However, it is important to be able to differentiate situations that you can handle on your own from those that you need to get some back up on.
I have made the decision to find myself, you should do too. This is the only way that we will get to spend the rest of our lives with people that we know. The people we love and understand. Our true authentic selves.