The Search For Self

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Who Am I?

This is the universal question we all wander around and wonder about, and only the brave and diligent find the answer. For this answer is not to be found through your family or friends but within yourself, and you must be willing to make the journey. Yes, I said journey. This simple question often involves a long complex journey before it is answered.

We often come to this question when we feel a void in our lives. It is human nature to look outside ourselves to find ourselves. We usually look for something larger than ourselves to fill this void. Some look for God, and others first try to fill that void with “things”. It might be material things or it might be substances which numb the ache within us. There are numerous addictions (alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling) people turn to avoid facing themselves all the while the answers rest within.

If you have a true desire to know yourself, approach with passion and purpose. Looking deep inside one will find that sacred place, that core where spirituality begins. Finding this place is the beginning of filling the void. Somewhere in that realm you will find yourself.

Before diving into self, we sometimes set high expectations that result in disappointment. We have to remember that searching the self is not like spending a day at the office. Poking at your soul is anything but routine. We have no idea what is going to be stirred up, tossed about, and thrown in our faces. It is not a pantry filled with labels, cans, and boxes. It is often found to be a disorganized closet crammed with articles not relating to one another. It overwhelming to think there will be any way to make sense of the mess. We might feel out of control and naturally want to shut down. Never lose hope. The light is there. It is beckoning you. Peel the layers back one at a time. It will get brighter and brighter as you continue. Are you beginning to see the light?

The power is yours. No one else can tell you who you are. The key to your identity, your peace, and your happiness is the same. It all rests in authenticity. The answers remain within you until you pull them out.

61 thoughts on “The Search For Self

  1. Wow, did you write that for me :)? Very true. I know all about the bad ways to fill in this void; even though I know my yoga and meditation practice will bring me much more peace, I still reach for the other stuff. I guess it’s a form of self pity.

    Thanks again, great read!

  2. Lovely post Suzi
    Did you ever come across this quote from Joseph Campbell, “People say that what we’re seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
    It seems to resonate with your blog.

  3. I’m sure most of us ask this question a few times during our lives unless we are trying to avoid the obvious. Some people don’t want to know and I suppose for them that is fine.

  4. And yet, another inspiring and ‘feeling’ provoking post, Suzi!

    ” Peel the layers back one at a time. It will get brighter and brighter as you continue. Are you beginning to see the light?”

    I loved that, because one of things I learned about the process (journey) of Reiki, is that it gradually (like an onion) peels away all the layers of false self; revealing our true self – our light!

    “The power is yours. No one else can tell you who you are. The key to your identity, your peace, and your happiness is the same. It all rests in authenticity. The answers remain within you until you pull them out.”

    Amen!

    Thank you for sharing this post, my friend!

    Have a great Wednesday….X

  5. Finding one’s self is a lifelong journey, a never-ending road. The moment we think we’re there now, something changes and we have to keep going. It’s a journey well worth being continued, however. Your post so fits in with where my mind has been lately.

  6. I think we adjust course so many times, just to keep going in the same direction. Where am I now, where am I going, what’s the best way to get there and all those things keep changing. Soul searching is not for me because I’m just trying to get from point A to point B without breaking all the eggs.

    • Some points in our lives are too busy for that….kids take up lots of time. I think we all learn through time whether we spend conscious time reflecting or not.

  7. Unfortunately we are so busy trying to survive and make ends meet and perform our responsibilities we don’t have time to contemplate who we are. Too busy being just “what I gotta do”. In retirement now and out of that milieu, becoming a grandpa has led to a vast redefinition of who and what I am and need to be. White hair has a way of seeing things quite differently too. Yeah. White hair definitely a crossroads.

  8. a wise truth suzi, it takes a lot of self exploration to realize who i truly am. i am bit of a wanderer, i dont even bother about it. i just keep to my path. since childhood i have read people doing this search, i never felt any urge to do it.

    • Some people spend a lot of time searching and some people just seem to know themselves. I don’t think we all need to know our purpose as it is ever changing but I do think it’s important to be who we are and not who others want us to be.

  9. Ah, so for everything above. In addition, may I point out that journaling is a great way to record the clues, so you can look back and connect the dots. Writing makes thoughts visible, real and accessible in a way nothing else can match.

  10. Wonderful post, Suzi. I agree completely that the journey to discover who we are is the most rewarding journey we can make.

    Look deep . . . the answers lie within.

  11. I agree with Sharon above. I have journaled for most of my life and find that when I ask the question of who am I? I just start reading about what I entered back when. I am still trying to make a public writing out of my private ones in form of a memoir.
    Not going any where fast.

    • I’ve never been a successful day to day journaler, but I have scribbled bits and pieces now and then and find it interesting to see where I was and where I am now.

  12. Everything you’ve written is exactly what I have found on my journey. There are two additional things that people might want to know.

    The first is that sometimes it is painful to peel away the layers. If we are to continue, we need to have absolute honest with ourselves. To illustrate this, I have a friend who is obese. She is a beautiful woman with a beautiful soul but people see her otherwise. I hate to say that many shun her because of her appearance.

    She has had an opportunity to have the operation that will staple her stomach so she can’t eat too much. However, she is deciding whether or not she will go through with it. She has had a few terrible experiences and she realizes she is using her weight as a shield so those experiences won’t happen again. She believes the problem is not so much her weight as her learning how to truly trust people. She is seriously considering turning down the procedure.

    Now that’s self honesty. Until she finds out how to trust people (and herself), she will be extremely vulnerable inside and out.

    Honesty with self is a must.

    The second thing is that with peeling away the layers of doubt and self-hate and distrust, there are moments of exquisite joy that can be so enlightening and life-enhancing that they make all the rest of it so very worthwhile. I’ve found if I go at my own pace and listen to my inner voice, everything will be okay. One day I met my inner guidance face to face because of this. Ecstacy became a reality to me for a few minutes.

    Thanks for posting that post, Suzi.

    • All of what you say is right. This is just a small excerpt from a chapter on a book I’ve started writing, and I did touch on the other parts you mentioned as well. It is indeed a complex journey that involves not only a lot of time but many emotional experiences.

    • Yes, I was so glad he shared that. If you haven’t checked out Jerry’s blog, please do. It is phenomenal. I am so delighted he commented and led me back to his.

  13. Love this picture.

    I also love that you helped me with my closets. Now instead of saying they are a mess, I can say they are like complicated beings that need time and understanding in order to search through them and actually find anything.

    Yay. 😉

  14. Wow. I come back for a long overdue visit, and I see a couple of knockout posts + photos. Isn’t it gratifying when you can see such terrific development and progress in another? I am encouraged and reassured by reading posts like your (and like Vent’s, as well). Wondering if our own separate self-discoveries are always observed/appreciated/encouraged by our respective audiences, though. It seems at times that we go through our changes almost anonymously. Whether others in the world can appreciate or follow along with us almost seems like it’s pure luck. In any case, you have really stimulated some deeper thought here, and for that I am most grateful. Best to you. EFH

    • Oh Expat, it is always a delight to have you drop by. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and see growth…I think my writing as changed much in the last year as I have. I enjoy reading posts that make me reflect long after reading, and yours have always done that for me.

  15. So very true. I believe we women have an especially difficult time with this. We’re always someone’s daughter, wife, mother, friend, employee etc. We never take the time to really find out who WE are deep down inside! Great post, as always.

    • I think so, too. Or it might be that men don’t voice it as they tend to bottle things up more than most women do. It’s almost a calling for us, similar to motherhood…you either REALLY want it or not a big deal. At least, it feels that way to me in relationship to myself and those I am closest to.

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