The overall message of my blog is authenticity / being true to yourself, but often times this is something that’s easier said than done. How do you know which parts of you are actually you, and which parts are emotional reactions, hormonal/chemical imbalances, or the effects of hanging around certain people a little too much?
There are all the kinds of things in life that can make identifying your truth super challenging. One of my greatest challenges comes from taking on the feelings/emotions of other people. I am extremely empathetic, and whenever I get around people with strong feelings or personalities, I get a blurred lines kind of feeling regarding which feelings are mine, and which feelings I’m taking on from others.
The only thing that helps in this sort of situation is taking a step back (away from other people) and sitting with my feelings on my own.
It’s also important to note that you are not characterized by your feelings. You are not your anger, or your sorrow, or even your happiness. You are not your anxieties or your fears, and you’re not even your thoughts.
What does characterize you is how you choose to act, how you treat others, how you carry yourself, and how you go through life despite the challenge of emotions, imbalances, etc…
We also tend to cling to things that we think identify us, which I think is okay sometimes, but I think it’s important to keep some sort of distance between who you believe yourself to be and the things you feel drawn to do.
I’ll give you an example — right now, yoga is a huge part of my life and I would definitely say I identify as being a yogi; but this is not truly “who I am.” I’m a peaceful, loving, and patient person — all qualities you’ll find in most yogis, but being a yogi does not make me those things. I was already those things before I got into yoga. Also, I could, at any point in my life, for one reason or another, decide that I don’t like yoga any more, and choose to give it up. If I felt that being a yogi was part of my identity, then a decision like this might leave me feeling lost and confused, as if part of myself had been taken away.
This is why I think it’s important to try and recognize which things in life characterize you, and which do not. I am proud to be a yogi, but as I said before, yoga is just something I do. It does not dictate who I am.
So, do you think you know who you are? Do you let the things/people in your life characterize you? How about your emotions? Are you capable of staying true to yourself no matter what life throws at you? What do you think?
Photo credit to Aki Tolentino