This week I spoke to Stephanie about branding and the image we put out on social media. It reminded me that we really aren't just confined to one identity. We aren't what we post. It cannot possibly encapsulate everything about us. We will be misunderstood and it's ok to be. I can find it so hard at times, accepting being misunderstood. I find the need to justify and defend, "That isn't actually what I mean!" And the truth is, even people who know us at times, don't KNOW US! DUM DUM DUMMMMM
Well it's sad, but true. Often I find those closest to me don't actually know me. I also wonder if it's because they aren't asking the right questions. But that also isn't their fault at all. We can only operate from the place we are at. I am guilty of not asking those I love interesting questions. It's only when I get to experience those existential moments do I realise, "I don't maybe know my closest cousin's favourite colour," that I hit myself on the head and try and strike some new conversations. It's funny isn't it? When we realise life isn't forever we choose to live it differently, but then it doesn't last very long! Sigh! The cons of being a human being I tell you.
Going back to my point then, we aren't confined to being one thing or having to play small. We share our highlight reels more than our adversity because those are the moments we want to remember. Yes, adversity and obstacles require faith and drive us to tap into perseverance and a whole lot more gold, but the process isn't always pleasant because it isn't about perfection at all! Having days where I feel ugly, or just lazy and not bothered isn't what I want to publicize. I would much rather post something when I feel good, or there is something I want to share that I'm proud of. It happens to all of us! What's important to remember is that it absolutely does happen to us all at some point, at the same time, we need to know, we don't need to get caught up in playing the "perfection" game.
Stephanie reminds us that people are more in tune than we think. Most of us can usually sniff inauthenticity, well unless we are dealing with a narcissist, then I would argue not! Most of the time then, we connect with what resonates, and what resonates are stories that we connect to. It's all a bit of a cycle isn't it? And those stories can't be "put on" because if they are, they aren't our stories. All of us are bloody authentic as we are. And none of us can be like another. Well not fully anyway! We can put on some designer clothes and dress like someone we think is perfect, even learn to talk like them but we cannot become them! Where was that damn positive reinforcement I needed as a kid! This adulthood unlearning work is hard!!
"And the good news is it's never too late to unlearn."
Do you want the good news or the bad news? hmmm So the bad news is it doesn't get easier, YOU get better, as I always like to say. And the good news is it's never too late to unlearn. I like to think I know myself completely and fully but then something new strikes me at the weirdest of times. I could be driving to the gym, like this morning or listening to a podcast, or about to go to sleep and some thought hits me. I get these epiphany moments where I realise why I feel some type of way about something. It's bizarre but genius at the same time. And sometimes I just have these rapid fire moments, where I talk to myself and put myself on the hotseat, and it's brilliant because even though I thought I knew it all, things change. Just like we shed skin and hair on a daily basis, we shift our thoughts and opinions. It gives me comfort knowing there isn't an end to this process. Change can really be a beautiful thing.
"The art of knowing thyself is just that, an art."
I could get really poetic now and tell you that old leaves must die, just like flowers do and then in a new season they bloom all over again, but I am going to just leave you with these thoughts. Take from it what you will.
The art of knowing thyself is just that, an art. Every art and discipline requires practice. And practice makes it close to perfect. In fact it always makes what WE choose to see as perfect. So just like the social celebrity we know and love because we see perfection in them, it too exists in us somewhere. It won't be the same kind of perfection, but it will be perfect in a different way...maybe in a simple way...maybe in an extraordinary way. Maybe in the way we end up being loved by millions or maybe in a way that we are only loved by one significant human but it's still love.
"The key is learning to love ourselves. "
I believe the key is learning to love ourselves. And when we do, we can operate from that state of overflow. Rather than being paralysed by comparison, we can embrace our uniqueness, knowing there is no finish line other than the one we impose on ourselves.