Getting to Know You
As I was writing this post, one of my sons read it and laughed. He asked, “How can a person not know themselves?” While it may seem impossible to him, the truth is that many people go through their day to day with no real sense of who they are. They live in a cycle of routine and reaction. They live in the lines of “supposed to” without ever reflecting on why. They avoid being alone in reflection. Instead, their alone time is spent in front of the television, between the pages of a book, or distracted by some task. Being alone and facing their thoughts can be daunting, but it is necessary.
Set aside time each day to meet with you. It doesn’t have to be for a long time. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or exotic. Sometimes just going to sit on a bench under a tree is all you need. Just make the time for yourself every day.
You are the focus. It is not time to think about your schedule for the day or all the items on your to-do list. It is time to just check-in with yourself. Encourage yourself. Console yourself. Evaluate your actions, feelings, and thoughts. Check everything against who you are and who you want to become. Writing or journaling is great to do during your alone time. Whatever you are feeling or thinking goes down on paper. Don’t judge it. Don’t apologize for it. Don’t worry about what anyone will think of you for whatever you write. You can meditate. You can talk to God. Or you can just sit and allow yourself to feel and reflect. No judgment. No remorse. No condemnation.
Having a good sense of who you are will help you navigate through some tough situations. Even if you lose your way for a moment, knowing who you are at your core will get you back on track. Knowing yourself will help you create a life with intention instead of just reacting to situations or morphing into who others want you to be. You tap into who you are by asking and observing:
- What is important to me?
- What are my values?
- What brings me joy?
- What are dealbreakers for me?
- What vision do I have for my life?
When you get out of alignment with who you are, you will likely feel lost, aimless, unsure, and unfulfilled. Knowing who you are is like following the North Star. You may not recognize where you are at the moment, but you know that you are moving in the right direction. One of the wonderful gifts of knowing yourself is that it kindles your love of yourself.