For those who don't know my story, when I was just 15 years old, I had an accident where I got burned approximately 50% of my body with a candle. This experience taught me the essence of my true self. Not being able to see myself in a mirror for so long, but knowing I was completely disfigured, and yet, feeling the same teenager I was before my accident, showed me that my body, my skin, my hair, any of my physical traits doesn't make me who I am.
It taught me that what makes me who I am is what I carry within me which is a combination of qualities like my interests, how I've dealt with good or bad experiences, beliefs, skills, goals, wants, needs, limits, and abilities among other characteristics.
What I'm about to share with you is for us to reflect and grow, not to judge, criticize or point fingers.
For someone to know themselves takes a lot of retrospection and a genuine effort to evolve. Also, taking the time to think or talk to someone about our past through a learning perspective and no judgment makes a big difference. It helps us identify aspects in our lives that we need to improve, people or practices that we need to eliminate from our lives, the things that we like and want, goals that we might have to remove or add, and evaluation on our priorities, our health, our finances, etc. Retrospection can show us how much we have grown. Sometimes we can also see how our perspective and priorities have changed.
Been aware of our evolution and our qualities maintain our authenticity. This gives us the freedom to be ourselves wherever we go. There's no need to change who we are and act differently. We can walk into a room with confidence and a big wide smile just because there's nothing to hide.
Unfortunately, I see people around me with "multiple faces," I can sense that most of them don't even recognize their identity crisis. They can act very Christian-like, "blessing everybody around them, with acceptance and empathy for others" situations when they are surrounded by a certain group of people. Sadly, once they are in another group they remove their "masks" and reveal a new face, a face of cruelty, a personality that bullies other people behind their backs. In another setting you see them completely different, barely talking, and even their body language is different. It makes me question who that person really is since there is no consistency in their personality. Do they even know who they are?
Ask yourself; Do I want to be someone that has to adjust one's character in different circles, or just be myself wherever I go?
Call me silly but I like to believe the best in people and every situation. It is why I believe these identity crises come with a lack of emotional maturity. In our upbringing, we are not used to hearing our parents telling us to let them know if we need a therapist, if they need some kind of emotional support. In most cultures, getting mental or emotional help is a "taboo". This makes it easier for us to bottle up our thoughts and feelings rather than work through them resulting in not the best coping skills.
Most people don't carry their pain inside to themselves just because they want to, is because they haven't learned yet a better way to open up and deal with it. While holding onto those emotional scars, sometimes it results in low self-esteem, social anxiety, depression, becoming a bully, addictions, self-harm, and more.
Working with emotional wounds is not easy, but it is healthy. Working through them shapes our characters. Believe me, nobody is "too damaged, too old or too young" to heal emotional and mental wounds. It is possible to achieve emotional maturity at any age if you are willing to put yourself first and make the effort to forgive others without getting an apology and forgive yourself for your faults and mistakes.
It is time to explore our essence, regardless of who we are. Nobody should be afraid to be pure and authentic. It doesn't matter if you are someone that likes to be surrounded by people, it doesn't matter if you enjoy your solitude, it doesn't matter if you have no filter and say things as you perceive them, it doesn't matter if you are someone that likes to live your life outside the box.
There's a reason why we all have different traits and talents, that's what makes us unique. That uniqueness is what brings that spark into the world. It is lovely when we sit down and share our memories and experiences with others. Some people might agree with our choices, some might differ, and that is perfectly fine. Sharing our similarities and differences with love, respect and no judgment brings a certain beauty and growth into our lives. It creates strong bonds in our relationships.
Make the time to dig deep to find what you like and don't like, to revise those dreams and actually turn them into a reality in your life. Make the effort to accept yourself for who you are with all the good, the bad, and the ugly. The moment you accept and embrace yourself fully is the moment those around you will do the same. You'll see that the people you really need in your life, will value you and respect you more than you can even comprehend.
Learn to love yourself fully. Allow that self-love to make you feel unstoppable, a love that will empower you to get out of your comfort zone and say:
- I am complete.
- I am ready to share my love with those who truly want to receive it.
- I am ready to move forward.
- I am ready to be myself wherever I go.
- I'm ready to own the days that I am at my best and to acknowledge and grow from the days that I'm not.
Don't be afraid to open up your mind also in order to learn new things about yourself. Remember, there's always room for growth and improvement. It is never too late to become a better version of yourself and live a life of authenticity.