Self: Becoming

We often hear that a solution to certain problems is to “just be yourself,” as if it’s that easy. Sometimes we can’t be ourselves simply because we don’t know who we are. We’re hopefully evolving constantly and sometimes myself today is different than myself was yesterday. That can be a little confusing sometimes, don’t you think? I don’t have the keys to being yourself; what works for me may not work for you, but these are some thoughts to consider on the days that you just can’t find the person you know you are.

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Fluency

It’s much easier to flow in the direction of the current. Sometimes life hands us situations that are challenging and our resistance not only makes things worse, but it takes us out of our element. Resistance only impedes the self that we’re becoming. Don’t try to seem okay with a situation; just be. Practicing life fluency is certainly easier said than done, but it’s one of the most useful mechanisms we have in life. To not be so affected by external pressure is the way to grow steady into the person we’re supposed to be.

But above all, in order to be, never try to seem.

Albert Camus

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Mirrors

A little bird told me that everyone I meet is a mirror- a reflection of self. What I like or dislike in someone is directly related to how I think and feel about myself. Pay close attention to the people around you and especially notice your responses. This is how we learn about self.

When you adopt the viewpoint that there is nothing that exists that is not part of you, that there is no one who exists who is not part of you, that any judgement you make is self-judgement, that any criticism you level is self-criticism, you will wisely extend to yourself an unconditional love that will be the light of the world.

Harry Palmer

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Vitality

Pay attention to what gives you the most joy and peace. I feel happiest around family. I feel most calm when I’m reading and writing. Logically, if I push my actions and life in the direction of those things, I’m pushing towards the purest form of self that is fueled by what I innately love.

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Howard Washington Thurman

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Credit

Give yourself some. Your present existence says that you have at least been mildly successful to this point and you should consider the only direction up from here. It’s not about tangible success per se; it’s about mental and emotional success. You’re resilient, because you’ve survived all of your bad days. You’re strong, because you surmounted the situations you were anxious about. You’re brave, because you made choices and kept on making choices to arrive where you currently are. All of these qualities are the elements of self we should remember when things get a little shaky.

Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.

Malcolm S. Forbes

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Discomfort

The confusing moments when you can’t pinpoint exactly who you are can mean that you’re in a transitional phase. The discomfort is good. It means that you aren’t settling into a self that you are not meant to remain. I’ve never heard anyone say they liked discomfort, but I do know that the people who harness it and use it as motivation to become the self that is strong and unafraid to turn and face the sun.

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Anais Nin

Photography: Keith Nixon
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