Stop Trying to Find Yourself
You’re probably tired of being yourself. I know I am. This whole “Jessie” character is exhausting, with her never-ending hair treatments, long list of self-help books to read, and never-ending goals, from swinging more kettle bells, to eating less gluten. It takes so much effort to keep up with yourself. Who has any time to try to find themselves?
If you’re traveling along the self-help road, (which, I can assume you are if you’ve attracted this article into your life), then, like, me, you’ve probably done a fair amount of work to uncover an understanding of who you really are and how you can improve yourself. You’ve probably tried to “find yourself,” as if there were such a thing: an identifiable you that was out there, roaming the streets, waiting to be found and taken back home through a series of self-help processes and experiments. When we talk about the great misunderstanding that is finding oneself, what we’re really saying is that the real “us” is underneath the layers of identity that have been amassed via parents, the media, and the thought systems and beliefs of the collective. The true “us” views life through a lens that has been muddled over by what we’ve consciously and unconsciously learned from others.
On one hand, yes, you need to find yourself, but the term itself is misleading, as you’re not finding, but uncovering, and you’re not searching, but allowing. The true process of finding yourself is about stepping out of who you think you are to fully become who you were meant to be.
Finding yourself, meaning, your passions, a belief system that resonates with you, and your tribe (people who match your vibration and share a similar worldview) isn’t an active search, it’s giving yourself permission to get even more lost, because it’s in the process of getting lost that will provide you the space to learn that you’re not who you thought you were.
Take my belief system, for example. I was brought up by parents who believed that the smart path to take was to find a job that offers security (by ways of health benefits, a stable salary, and assistance with retirement). This belief system worked for my parents, both of whom grew up poor and in families who struggled to make ends meet, much less thrive. I took on this belief, as it was affirmed to me through their actions and words, as well as through an unspoken energetic transmission. As an adult, through the process of finding myself, or really, un-finding myself, my work is to ask myself if this belief is in alignment with my purpose, which is to live a creative life and spread love and positivity through writing. My work is to shine a light on any ways of thinking that don’t fit with my purpose.
So, it’s not that you need to find yourself, as if there is a hidden you to track down, but you need to give yourself permission to stop being the you you think you are. This is how you’ll uncover your passions, your purpose, and everything that standing in the way of you stepping into the most authentic version of yourself. This is what Carl Jung called the process of individuation: embarking on the journey to fulfill one’s highest purpose. Think about the term individuation; inherent in the word is the process of individualization. It requires a separation from your family and society, insofar as, you will be called to ferret though the complex thought system of your lineage and of the world, in order to figure out what you truly believe and which beliefs serve your highest good.
Give yourself permission to get even more lost, to step out of your comfort zone, and wander down the rabbit hole. The process of finding yourself is about untethering, stitch my stitch, belief by belief, from the ideology of your family, your history and from the dominant thought system of the world.
In order to find your true north, you need to get a little lost. You need to loosen your anchor and let your boat drift.
This is the first step on the journey to becoming an individual, identifying your purpose, and creating a fulfilling life that is rich with meaning. You must take the liberty to stray from what feels familiar and wander into unchartered territory. You must grant yourself the permission to explore, play, and question everything. It requires not only courage, but a willingness to discover that the first step to finding yourself is letting yourself get lost.