How well do you know yourself? How clear are you on what you need? What do you think of yourself, really, truly, deeply? How aware are you of your strengths? How aware are you of your perceived weaknesses. Do you or will you stand up for yourself when called to? How much do you value yourself? How honest are you with yourself? Do you love yourself? Do you forgive yourself? Do you honour yourself? How is your relationship to yourself?
Like a lot of things, there seems to be layers to this whole self-knowledge, self-awareness stuff. Maybe we don’t ever stop finding out things about ourselves. It was only recently that I realised I’m so not as easy going as I thought I was. Most (read: all) of the time, I have really clear and specific, preferences. Particularly, oddly, when it comes to the weather and food. The truth is I’m really not easy going at all. It was hard at first to accept this because I had built an identity around it, good old easy going Heidi, happy to just go with the flow. And if I’m not easy going then who the hell am I? But maybe having a good relationship with yourself means allowing yourself to change, to adapt and to open up.
Sometimes self-inquiry can lead to having fixed ideas of who we are which we then hang on to and identify with. In this (sometimes) frantic search of self, we can easily get attached to traits, qualities and characteristics that we say are us. We can even look to skills or strengths to identify and define ourselves by. But this can prevent movement, growth and change. And we do change. We experience new things, that force us to grow, that challenge us, changing us from what we were before. Solutions that worked might not work anymore and stuff that didn’t work before might now be just what you need. In all of this, our relationship to ourselves changes. It’s like any relationship, if we don’t allow it to grow and instead try to hold it in a fixed place in time, then it becomes stifled, stuck, lifeless. We grow, we learn, we adapt and we need to have space for all of that.
You have to allow yourself to change if you are going to really give yourself what you need. If you are going to be there for yourself. If you are going to start tuning into your intuition and really listening to yourself, you can’t listen with preconceived ideas of what you should need or what has worked in the past. You have to be open, soft and gentle with yourself. You have to allow your strengths and your “story” to change. Maybe before you always hated conflict, or being assertive, but the truth is that you have been through some experiences and you’ve grown and actually are really good at standing up for yourself. Holding on to that old song about you shying away from conflict, doesn’t honour your truth, your experience, or your strength.
Does it really matter if I am good at this or that, if I have these or those qualities or characteristics? Does it make me a better person? Does it matter if I’m fussy or easy going? Do we ever really need to define ourselves? Sometimes the definitions can make us feel more like we are people, more legitimate, more whole, more valuable. But we are valuable, we are whole, we are legitimate without the definitions. Our humanness doesn’t come from the shell we construct around us but our innate nature within. You can try on as many shells as you like, as often as you like and it shouldn’t change how you feel about yourself. Honour yourself always. Honour your ability to try new things, your ability to change. Allow yourself to surprise yourself. Be curious and open to your needs, your preferences, to what will make you happy. Let go of who you think you are, who you think you need to be and how you think you should behave and just be with your precious, unique and changeable self.