Possible Ways to Re-Know Ourselves
Updated: May 8, 2020
I used the adjective ‘possible’ here to suggest that it is possible but not guaranteed. And as counselling goes, it is only helpful if counsellors are dealing with active clients, i.e. clients who are committed to change.
In my previous article, I mentioned about how we might become so accustomed to the versions of ourselves that we show other people, that we lose touch with our sense of self. We all have many hats to wear when at different places with different people – we are someone’s son or daughter, a wife or a husband, a brother or a sister, a friend, for instance. We carry out different responsibilities and live according to a various cultural norms or standards. As we go through the motions just like the sun rises and sets every day, we lose touch with ourselves – we feel purposeless, lost, empty, lonely and the like.
Here are some exercises that can help us re-learn who we are:
Write Your Own Obituary
Most of the time, how we think others perceive us does not quite align with how others actually perceive us. We are all salves to our own interpretations of things and our personal biases. But don’t worry about that now. Let’s think about this: how would you like to be remembered after your death? What can you do to be that person in your obituary?
No one likes to be uncomfortable. Recall your first day of school? Or the first time you learned something new? Or your first time doing something that you never thought you would be able to do? Sometimes we get so comfortable with what we know and have experienced that will close ourselves to new and unfamiliar things.
But there must be something amiss for us to feel lost; there must be times when we chose to ignore and dismiss something just because it was too painful or too draining to deal with. It is indeed uncomfortable. I am inviting you to be uncomfortable so that we can be humble and learn about ourselves better. Ask yourself what are the things that make you uncomfortable. Why? Is it because it challenges your worldview? Is it because it makes you feel like a bad person?
Do You Matter?
If you ask me, I would say yes. But reality can be really harsh and we all have a story. Yes, there are times where we feel like we are not worth anything no matter how much others try to convince us that we are. We seek validation or acknowledgement from other people to fill that void in us. But here is the catch: No one can fill that void for us. So we must ask how much we accept ourselves. Are we happy with who we are now? What can we do now to be that person?
This is not easy. It requires emotional strength and flexibility to be able to commit to achieving what we want. I am here for you if you need someone to hear you out. I am comfortable to be uncomfortable with you.