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Finding yourself

I can't count the number of times I've heard or read the phrase "find myself" or "finding myself". People who've reached a tough juncture in life tend to want to "find themselves" and rediscover who they are, what makes them happy, what makes them sad, what they like etc. The list goes on. But why? Why is it so important for people to find themselves? I'm going to go ahead and describe why I feel this is a futile exercise.

Perhaps I should start by elaborating on what my understanding of finding one’s self means. To me it means paying closer attention to one’s feelings about oneself, interactions, the people around you etc. More or less getting to know yourself better.

My main issue with this exercise is that people tend to go through it when something bad or sad has happened to them. They often search within themselves to try and discover what makes them happy so they can make themselves feel better. Or ultimately what brought them to this juncture in their lives.

My first issue with finding one’s self is that this exercise could go on forever. If the reason you’d like to find yourself is because you are in a crisis then perhaps concentrating on the solution to the issue would be a better way to use up your time. And when I say finding a solution, I mean a long term workable solution to the issues currently facing you.

Why not take the opportunity to decide how you’d like your future to be and who you’d like to be in your future and start working towards it. The bad or sad situation you’ve found yourself in may or may not be your fault. What you can do, however it to decide how you’re going to deal with it in the future should it occur again and is out of your control. If it is within your control then your job is to do your darned best so that you don’t have to go through this experience again.

That’s all pretty abstract thoughts. So let me give an example. An example of being sad because of a thing out of your control is when a loved one passes away. Their passing away was not as a result of any of your actions or anything you did. Instead it was completely out of your control. So you can decide that in the future, when you are faced with very sad feelings such as the ones you’re experiencing now, that you will only see the bright side of things and take the positives from the situation. Think of the person who has passed on as being at peace and happy and remind yourself of all the happy memories they’ve left behind.

On the other hand if the reason you’re feeling bad or sad is because you’ve had to file for bankruptcy and can’t pay your debts, then your job is to make sure you never find yourself in this situation again. Think about the spending habits that got you in this mess and start addressing your attitude to money and being responsible with money. It was your irresponsibility that got you into this mess, so in order not to find yourself in this exact situation again you MUST learn the lesson that life is trying to teach you and move on.

Wallowing in the past won’t help. Always ‘remember your current thoughts create your future’ – Louise Hay

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