“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” Carl Jung
I’ll bet you’ve heard someone say, “I’m just trying to find myself.” Or maybe you have said that statement enough that that you’ve become convinced that you’re also trying to find your “self.” Guess what?
That person you seek is in there, waiting for you to come back and reclaim the “true” you. If you’d like to reconnect with your lost parts, I have some thoughts about why those parts might be in hiding and how you can integrate them back into your life, with self-awareness and self-compassion.
It means that you have created a false story about who you are, a secret, one that you even believe by now, and that secret has created shame about your perfect, authentic self. Exactly where and how does that happen? A great question…the confusion with this is very real…and it’s very confusing (nailed that point :-)).
If you’re looking for you, my guess would be that, at some point, you lost the ability, courage, or the vulnerability to feel safe being you. Then the questions arise, “Who am I really?” and “What is authentic for me?” and “How can I be authentic if I don’t even know who I am?”
A time that you probably don’t remember. My guess would be that you were a cute, little, barely-had-hair kid in diapers…pooping, farting, burping little bubbles, giggling, crying (I mean, screaming at the top of your lungs!), and doing whatever you wanted to without consideration, hesitation, fear of rejection or self-judgment. You were you…not caring about anything or anyone other than getting your needs met and living your pea-perfect little life.
Screech!!!!! Something happened: Rejection, judgment, abandonment, abuse…something that scared you or made you feel isolated and ashamed. You might have cried for attention and been ignored (and today being ignored is unbearable). You might have been the kid that was picked last for the team (and today you are fitter than fit…or a perfectionist…or an overachiever). You might have been rejected by a friend who you were goofy with and who you trusted (and today you struggle with trust and fear of abandonment).
That’s when you truly lost yourself…when you started acting cool to fit in, quit dancing that weird dance that you used to love, or you tried to cover up that laugh that made you sometimes snort. Getting back to that place where you know, trust, and value weird, goofy, unique you, 100% of the time, is a lifelong journey of experiencing self-rejection, then engaging in self-compassion, and ultimately discovering beautiful moments of self-acceptance.
Where does one start? First, by getting honest…by getting real with yourself, and mixing in a heavy dose of self-compassion. You have been living a lie. That lie kicked off at some point when you didn’t feel safe to be you, it began out of self-preservation and has woven itself into your life ever since. It has become such a big part of you, that you don’t know where “True You” ends and where “Faking-it You” begins.
Find a time when you became who you needed to be out of self-preservation, even though it could be a time or a place where you were too young to remember. Find a time where you recall feeling rejected, where you hid deep in your shell. Can you place your finger on it? What happened and how did you feel? Do you recall adapting to fit in to not experience that rejection again? Did you become stronger, cooler, smarter, or did you hide in sports, addictions or perfectionism?
After acknowledging that you let a part of you go to keep things copacetic, to fit in, to be accepted, or even to survive in your family, here’s some thoughts about how to reclaim unique you, find belonging, and ultimately find self-acceptance:
It is you…your heart…your childlike curious, playful, giggling, dance-like-a-dork, goofy self. It is waiting for you to come back, and it is tired of being rejected and keeping your secret…the one that keeps you trying to fit in so that you feel like you belong.
You not only can come out from hiding, your heart and the world needs you to…it’s crucial that you do so. We have too many unhappy people trying to be like other seemingly happy, but probably unhappy, people to fit in. By embracing unique you, you will bring more love and peace to this world than you can ever imagine.
Lastly, you were given a one-of-a-kind human code, which means there is not one other person exactly like you…you’re special…precisely who you’re supposed to be, and where you’re supposed to be. Love that person. He or she will feel safe enough to come out from hiding when self-compassion and self-acceptance override fear and self-rejection. I’d like to meet that person someday. Carl Jung agrees, and he is super authentic and beyond cool. Thanks for being unique 100% you.
Peace friend ✌😊
p.s. Check out my video: Finding Your “Self”…Are You Really “Lost?”