To love others, you must first love yourself.
To know others, you must first know yourself.
To understand others, you must first understand yourself.
To be able to be patient with others, you must first learn to be patient with yourself.
Are you noticing a theme here? …Yeah, me too.
It starts with you.
I have been on a spiritual, soul searching journey for the last 6 years. Between busting wide open to falling apart to coming back together again, it’s been one heckuva ride. And, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Among all of the chaos, pain and madness, I’ve experienced many “Aha” discoveries, blissful “Yay!”s and “Ahhhhh… peace” moments. All of which, the good, the bad and the ugly, have made me uncover something truly amazing: “Me”. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I thought I was amazing, I might have said “Maybe… depends on the day.” In my teen years I would have exclaimed “Yeah!” while cringing inside in disbelief and wishing it was truly so. In 2014, after working with my friend and fellow coach, Shayla Logan, I finally ditched the last remaining seeds of unworthiness and declared I was beyond amazing. In fact I deemed myself “Freakin’Awesome!”. Of course, this was my personal opinion. And it was still subject to change on any given day or moment based on what I was experiencing.
Fast forward to 2016: I no longer just think I’m freakin’ awesome, I KNOW I’m freakin’ awesome. Why? Because I’ve come to love me, know me, and understand me. And, (this is key), I have learned to have patience with me. Oh, believe me, I still have moments of “WTF was I thinking?” Or “What the heck’s wrong with me?” But they are far and few in between. After all, like you, I’m human. And life is not a perfect perception most of the time. Unless you think it is…
Lately I have really been taking the reins to learn more about myself, my personality traits, bridging the gaps. Where am I coming from? Why do certain things feel comfortable for me, while other things don’t? What are my true strengths to focus on and which weaknesses can I let go of? It has all led me to a fascinating conclusion: I actually knew me all along. I just never accepted me. Or at least parts of me…
I thought I was expected to be someone else.
Based on other people’s perceptions or nudges, we get caught in the trap of trying to become something or someone we are not. We attempt to take on traits that are foreign to us to fit in or keep the peace in our social circles. Often, it’s not until years later that we realize those shoes really do not fit, and never did. And many times, when this discovery pops up, all Hell breaks loose. Walls come tumbling down, relationships fall apart, careers no longer have meaning, and we feel lost, broken, even depressed. Who am I? Where did I go wrong? Why does nothing seem to fit? Why can’t I seem to hold it together?
I asked these questions over and over again. It wasn’t until I actually listened for an answer that it came.
Stop worrying about what is going on around you and pay attention to what is happening inside you. Listen to YOU. You know who you are.
Aside from the outer work I’ve done on my body to bring it back into balance, I’ve done tons of inner work too. I’ve gone where no man or woman has gone before: Into the depths of my own being. I’ve listened to old fears with a compassionate heart to sooth and let them go. When old beliefs (that maybe weren’t even mine to begin with) surfaced, I’ve called them out as bullshit and let them go. Unless of course, they still fit, then I’ve smoothed out the edges and hugged them tight. I’ve looked at my habits both constructive and destructive to see which were mine and which ones I had been trying on. Which ones can I change and which ones can I let go of? It’s all been fascinating. What I’ve come to understand is this:
You will always feel like an outsider to others, if you feel like an outsider to yourself. In order fit in in this world, you have to fit into your own skin. The more you know about that skin, body, mind, heart and soul, the better you know the world and people around you.
As I have continued my self-research, I see my connections with others becoming stronger. As I love myself, I am able to love others more deeply. The more knowledge I gain about my own personality traits and workings, the more knowledge I gain about others in relation to that. As I understand my own pitfalls and mountains, I am better able to see and help others climb out or keep trekking up and over theirs.
The key in all of this, however, is patience. And the lock to go with the key is acceptance.
If you are brave enough to go on a self-quest, be sure to bring those two along. Take your time to explore all the facets of you. Take a personality quiz. Be your own observer. See how you interact with others and how they interact with you. Try new things. Go back to old hobbies. Step outside the box you put yourself in. Be aware, though, it may not be easy. You may not like all aspects of you.
Continue to try things on. Old feelings, old habits, old thoughts. New feelings, new habits, new thoughts. Let go of the ones that don’t fit. Especially if they weren’t yours to begin with. You will uncover the you that has been there the whole time. Once you realize you have been you all along, and you’ve been patiently waiting for your own acceptance, I think that you may find that you too are, in fact: Freakin’ Awesome.
Love and blessings on your journey of you,
~ Jody pogo