Today’s post may be a little deep so I apologize in advance… or not.
Who are you? Take a few moments and think about it.
Thought about it? Ok. Good.
Now remove all of the “titles” such as your job title or profession, any associations or foundations you are apart of, relationship titles and astrological signs. I want to know who you are at your core. Don’t think of the things that allow you to be a part of a certain group, like I am a plant lover or a vegan or anything you can think of. It may be a long list to work through but I challenge you to start stripping away the unnecessary descriptions.
We have been conditioned to fit into a group in order to survive but we are also told to be unique. Bit of an oxymoron. There are some people who know who they are at their core and have kept that alive through their growth and development. There are others who struggle with the question. Some may have been taught to conform during childhood through parents with good intentions, others may have learned to blend in as a trauma response and others may have simply learned to blend in for survival.
Everyone is shouting self love at the top of their lungs and social media feeds are filled with quotes. But how does someone love themselves when they aren’t sure who they are? I believe it starts with taking inventory of where you are right now. Don’t think about the person you were a year or ten ago. It is also important not to look at the future for this mini exercise. Write the words down on a paper, both the positive and negative. Write the first words that come to your mind as you begin the exercise. Don’t talk yourself out of the words. If you are having trouble then ask a close friend for their thoughts about you. But do not rely solely on their perceptions.
Be honest with yourself but also give yourself some grace. A lot of the traits we think are negative, may not be as negative as we think. Some could be warning signs of boundaries that were crossed. You have to acknowledge the root of the problem. It is also important to know who you are so people don’t try to use certain aspects against you. People will dismiss your feelings based on their view of you that benefits them. People will gaslight you and then make you out to be the bad one. Knowing yourself allows you to identify their abuse and stand strong on your beliefs. Otherwise you will keep changing to benefit them and disregarding your own valid emotions.
The journey of self discovery and self love is no short one and it comes with difficult climbs and bumpy roads. But the end result is so worth it. COVID lockdown got me gardening again and I would beat myself that I simply did not have a green thumb. In actuality I realized that it is less about having a green thumb and more about accepting each plant for what it was or each seed for what it would be. Some sprout quickly and others take a little longer, some need a lot of water, others don’t like the sun. Taking my time and giving them what they need has allowed me to fill my home, porch and garden with a variety of plants.
Personally I have all of the patience and grace for my kids, plants, other people but not so much for me. I have had to remind myself of who I am and even challenge some beliefs I held for a long time. I have acknowledged some wounds and begun the healing process. Recently I felt like my character was being attacked or really I was more anxious that it would be. This morning I was trying to transplant two seedlings and I lost both. For the simple fact that I was rushing and not trusting the process. This was a subtle reminder for myself. I know who I am and I trust that God has already worked it out for my good. But if I rush it and do not trust Him then I stand the chance of losing. I only had that realization because I began my journey and know who I am even though I struggle with it regularly.
When negative thoughts pop up in your head, ask yourself is this true? If it isn’t then say so. If it is, then question why it is and what triggered it. As your confidence builds, some thoughts will simply disappear and others may require more attention. The point is to constantly remind yourself of who you are and embrace that. Give yourself some grace for the parts you are working on. There is an illusion that our faults are so much worse than others when in reality that isn’t true. Know who you are and trust that God or the universe or whatever you believe in is working for your good as long as you are true to you.