“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”
― Anaïs Nin
There are certain things that speak to me on a different, so-deep-it-hurts, level and I can’t always pinpoint why. I call them Soul things. Soul songs, soul quotes, soul movies- something that someone else creates that just seeps right into the truth of my being and reminds me that someone else has walked this walk and felt the intensity that I feel. This quote is very much one of those things. SO beautifully written and honest- sums up the truth that is the undefinable person- so many ins and outs that make us who we are- perfectly entertwined and absolutely unique.
I feel that our past experiences absolutely shape us, but should not determine who we become. I think that far too often people (myself included) use heartache as an excuse- “I can’t trust because I’ve been cheated in the past/I can’t have a calm disagreement because I grew up in a family that yelled at each other/You don’t know what I’ve been through!” All of these things we think and feel and say are nothing more than crutches that hold us back. When we hold onto pain and hurt, we subconsciously teach ourselves to suffocate our potential by narrowing our vulnerability and growth- causing a constant inner battle beneath what anyone else can see that constantly screams the question: Why can’t I become who I want to be?!?!?!
The answer to that is simple- You have defined your existence by the circumstances that you have either created or that have organically found you. You have lost your sense of self (or never discovered it in the first place) which is why you have allowed anything in your path of life to become you! That is why you hold onto hurt, anger, jealousy, negativity- because without these things that you have convinced yourself are just a natural product of your experiences, what would you actually be? What would you fill the void of loud opinions and close-hardheartedness with? Who are you without all of those things?
I realized this at some point this year when I was talking with a coworker and made the comment that a certain thing wasn’t someones strongest attribute. His response was “whats yours?” and I legitimately couldn’t answer that. I could list off all of the things that irk me in a split second, and all of the hobbies that I’ve convinced myself I like, but could I describe what it is that actually engulfs me? At that time, the answer was no. But- I have made it my conscious mission to explore that in my life every damn day since then. I have realized how easy it is to slip into a persona that has everything mapped out for you- the stoner who listens to reggae and has dreadlocks, crazy patterned pants, and travels the world/ the fitness girl who wears lululemon and posts before and after pictures like they’re candy- pushes code Fit4Life on some supplement website for a 10% discount on protein powder/ the extremist that posts their against-the-grain views on the wrongs in the world every chance they can. We all know these people and there’s honestly nothing wrong with being any of them if your passions truly align to that. But I think that for me, and for most of us- it’s a character we play because we either aren’t sure of who we are OR we were just scared to not be excepted for who we actually are. The point I’m making is this-
Don’t be so easily defined. Explore your heart, your likes, your dislikes, your hobbies. Do this alone- your road to self discovery is a solitary one, letting others influence you (subconsciously or not) is why you are in the rut you’re in today. Ask your self WHY something does or does not resonate with you. Question what you believe in and question your motives. Have discussions with people that have different view points and be open to learning from them. There is truth and knowledge in everything- pick and choose what to take from this world and don’t be a blind follower. Take all of these things that echo in your heart and listen to them. Those things are the things that make you who you are- undoubtedly the most interesting things about you. Never play a persona or feel like you have to have it all together at all times. Nobody does! We are all growing and experiencing life at different times in different realms. Celebrate your differences.
This has been and continues to be my goal of this year- immerse myself in anything and everything… fill myself up with the thoughts, people, and experiences that make me whole. Step away from those that drain me. My path is unique to me- and it’s sometimes scary to explore it but I feel blessed to be given the opportunity and awakening to finally be able to put my focus and heart into growth and becoming. I feel so alive!