Man, I think if someone asks “when was your self-discovery age?” I would have to say the past 12-18 months I have done more soul-searching and self-discovery than ever before. I’ve asked myself the deepest questions and I have found myself changing habits due to this transition. This also means the past 12-18 months have been the most difficult in my life. I don’t think it is fun for anyone to look at themselves through a microscope – a lot of disappointment and discouragement is what I experienced during the bulk of this season of my life. From the disappointment and discouragement I found a strength and desire that I never knew existed. I needed to learn about the weakness in me in order to allow my strengths to do what they needed to do to help me overcome my weaknesses.
I’ve also learned a lot about people in general. I can’t tell you how many books I have read on the subject of self-discovery. I prefer the term self-discovery over self-help. Self-help sounds too desperate to me. But anyway, the common theme of these books is if you look at people, as a whole, from a high-level every person’s actions are in an effort to make themselves happy. And while it may seem that the action is against you or the universe, they believe that what they are doing is going to make them happy in the long run. Hearing this and reading this and understanding this was more than just a lightbulb for me. It was like fireworks going off in my subconscious. I started looking at every person differently. I began to see a shift in my response to other people. I was always a person who took things – large or small – personally. Of course they were in some way plotting against me! That was the only rational explanation to what they were doing. When I started to comprehend (and this took quite a bit of time to sink in – so the fireworks had to get super-loud and bright before it had enough of an impact – haha) what was actually going on – at the root – my heart started to feel the compassion that it was supposed to feel.
I share this with you – my internet friends – only to maybe spark this thought process. I’ve found that since my heart was in a place of understanding and compassion, I have let go of so much unwarranted, self-inflicted pain. I am not perfect and this place is sometimes so far from my train of thought and my temper gets the best of me, however I am much stronger today than I was this time last year. I find it no coincidence that this awareness comes at the same time as Mother Teresa’s canonization. Her words have been a great teacher for my soul-work so I will leave you with her words as it directly pertains to my point:
People are often unreasonable and self centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat on you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be Happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.