Friends, I am so excited to be writing this post. I’ve been in such a strange headspace lately and it feels to good in this moment to prop myself up with my laptop and type away!
I was thinking about the ‘S’ word. Well, one of many S words out there. Self-love. Self-awareness. Self-actualization. Self-care. Self-esteem. Self-reflection. Selfish. Just to name a few.
I’ve been grappling with the idea that we’re supposed to incorporate all of the above vocabulary into our lives. It seems quite daunting when you look at the list. Technically, each word has its own denotation anyways. I guess this topic was bothering me enough to bring it up with my therapist. Our conversation went a little something like this:
Me: “I need help with the concept of self. I’m feeling a bit lost and don’t know where to start.”
Therapist: “I see. Describe this feeling to me.”
Me: “Well, I’m struggling because I think I’m supposed to be on this journey of self-love and self-care, but I’m not even sure I know who I am. How exactly am I supposed to help myself if I can’t even figure out where to begin?”
Therapist: “Finding yourself on the deepest level is one of the most radically difficult achievements in life. I think you’re already on the right track knowing that you’re feeling lost. It means you’re in the homestretch.”
Me: “The homestretch? What does that mean?”
Therapist: “It means you’re in the process of self-connection.”
Therapist: “Self-connection. It’s the process of spending time with yourself on a daily basis. It’s about getting to know you, getting to like you, and getting to love you. It’s silencing all of the outside noise on who you should be, how you should act, and what you should want. It’s turning the volume down on external expectations.”
And that my friends, is how I came to discover self-connection; the encompassing S word.
Ironically, this journey of recognizing my own “lostness” feels very similar to the grieving process when you lose a loved one. The first stage of grief is denial. Then comes anger and frustration, when you start to recognize that you are just going through the motions. Then you bargain with yourself, thinking that something will come along. But then you begin to dwell on the negative and think nothing will change. And finally, this leads you to acceptance. You have accepted that you’ve lost touch with who you are, want to get back something you lost, and you’re ready to find yourself.
And let me tell you, I am SO ready to find myself. In fact, I have be doing a number of different things to start putting the pieces together. I found out that:
#1 Having a therapist is great but you don’t always need a therapist to get things off your chest. You can discuss deep issues or truths with people you know! Heck, you can even do this with strangers (if you’re bold – I once asked a Starbucks barista how she thought she would die. Turns out, it was completely creepy to her and did not go over so well. I say start small). Small talk like the weather, work, school is good for minimal conversation, but digging deep is how you learn things about yourself and the people around you.
#2 Opening up with others can lead to a deeper connection with yourself. Fact.
I’ve also been trying out meditation. I used to think meditation was a hoax until I took a research course on it in university. Turns out, meditation not only relaxes you, but also can clarify or put into perspective problems and obstacles.
I’ve also started working out more. A lot more. Fitness has truly been one of the greatest forms of therapy for me. From boxing classes to pole dancing to doing jumping jacks in my bedroom, letting go of stressors for a while and getting a good sweat on has certainly helped to clear away negative energy.
Right now, I’m still feeling lost. My goals and dreams are uncertain. I read this quote once that all it takes to discover yourself is a shift in perspective. It might seem like you’re crossing an ocean now, but you might just be jumping over a puddle 🙂