Something Old... Something New...
Our adult lives are as much about learning and allowing as they are about unlearning and letting go.
So much of our identities and the beliefs we hold were colored by our childhood conditioning and adaptation to our environment.
In the process of learning and adapting, many of us had to give up certain parts of ourselves. Parts that felt authentic and true to us, yet weren’t welcomed and celebrated. Rather, they were ridiculed, shamed, neglected, or rejected.
As children, giving up our authenticity means approval and (perceived) safety.
As adults, giving up our authenticity means emptiness, numbness, and struggle.
But our authenticity is always there, underneath the adopted identity. It shows itself from time to time, when it feels safe.
It shows itself in curiosities, creativity, excitements, daydreams, longings, insights, and possibilities.
If you are on the journey of unlearning. letting go, and connecting to your authenticity, here are some questions to reflect on:
Living authentically and honoring yourself may involve making decisions others judge or disapprove of.
What if you let them have opinions and judgments?
What if you let them not understand your decisions?
What if you let them think whatever they are thinking?
What if you let them be confused?
Others have the right to think, judge, and believe whatever they want. You can’t change that.
The need to change people’s opinions of us and gain their approval is a futile task. And it simply doesn’t matter.
What matters is whether you will allow yourself to live your truth even if others don’t understand it or judge it.
The only person who’s permission, understanding, and approval you need, is you.
If you don’t know what you want, maybe you haven’t spent enough time with yourself.
Self-discovery can start by simply as turning your curiosity inwards. Not to judge, evaluate, or analyze, but to observe and learn.
Start with paying attention to:
· How you feel in the space you live in
· How you feel around people you choose to spend time with.
· Your likes and dislikes
· What excites you and what drains you
· When you feel most energized
· How do you connect to your purpose
· Your dreams and desires
· What you tell yourself about your dreams and desires
· What it’s like to be in your body
· When you feel most like yourself
· When you feel most disconnected from yourself
· Whether you would choose the life you are living
· Why you do things you do
· When you feel connected to a higher purpose
· Ways in which you engage with others
Each day or week, pick one of these areas to focus on and journal about what you’re learning and noticing about yourself.