Finding the Self is Love Without a Limit!
The journey inward to find out what you are made of is a dance of a lifetime. My personal declaration of freedom, which is one of my core values, was to divorce myself from “why” and “how.” Both of these left me in an emotional loop and instead I learned to surrender often. I surrender my will and my EGO often. 2017 was a year of endings. There were many things on the table for me to review. What kind of work did I really want to do? What experiences did I really want to have and what will be my legacy? Introspection is the pathway to the most glorious expedition and there is the journey to Self! Here are just a few ways I took the deep dive in.
Stop comparing yourself to other people
I was raised very Judeo-Christian and Black Middle Class. In this specific culture of African Americans I never really felt like I fit in. Therefore, the norms, values, and beliefs did not necessarily fall in line with mine. I did not marry in my twenties and gain an advanced degree, as is the expected path, and teaching was a respectable profession but it did not fulfill me entirely. I have a huge wanderlust to explore far off places, mysteries, and cultures. Once I identified my core values, I saw I was aspiring towards a life that would never make me happy. I pondered what my core values were and this was liberating! I could pursue my passions without guilt or feeling like I was a disappointment. This is not a dig on anyone who has a deep desire for scholarly pursuits, desires companionship and ambition. Be clear on what success looks like for you. Ask the universe or God an empowering question: What is your will for my life? Who do I need to become? What makes me happy? I found that what my path looked like was completely my own and trying to fit into any one mode or comparing myself was counterintuitive. Peace and joy are my guiding lights!
Find a Cause Bigger and that is Bigger than Yourself
Healing and transformation can be realized through helping other people. If you desire love, abundance, or compassion, giving back to your community will heal your heart, provide perspective or help when you’ve hit a wall. I have found that making donations, spending time with girls and participating in efforts such as, addressing sex trafficking or blending poetry with activism, helped me redirect my passion and indignation towards the injustices in the world. I deeply value youth and elders. I started a program for girls that led me to my own healing I needed in those difficult teenage years. I asked God where to tithe my time and ended up finding my truest calling. Love is the most powerful force in the universe we must show and receive it.
We are social creatures. “Love and Belonging” are high on the hierarchy of needs. However, in order to receive that love and community, we say “yes” to things that we really don’t want to do. We may agree to participate in relationships and organization that are not in alignment with our values. It is critical for us to create healthy boundaries and be clear on our values and what direction we want our lives to go. In doing so “No” has become a single worded, mono-syllable power stance! “No” may cause separation and be upsetting to others, especially if you are always saying “yes”. Resentment and passive-aggressive behavior are perilous to our well being. Saying “no” allows others to strengthen their creativity and their access to God. It is not our job to save people or be viewed as a “good person” or “nice.” Being a people pleaser doesn’t guarantee a person will like you, much less love you! Saying “No” especially when it doesn’t feel genuine or aligned, allows you to say a sacred “YES.” “No” has a power that is unexplainably liberating.
My final thoughts and points are this, none of the above steps are the sum total of my journey, rather a few lessons I’ve learned along the way. Contrast has presented me with opportunities to dig deeper for my truth and the boldness and convictions to follow through on my declarations. Life will present you with a mirror for reflection. Faith is like a good therapist and is vital to my spiritual health. Our journey to self has its own unique blueprint. Asking our Higher Self, that which is connected to God becomes our North Star to guide us home.