"Sometimes I don't even know who I am."
Life is...complicated. And it seems to get more complicated each year. Our schedules get fuller, expectations expand, and the pressures mount. Sometimes we can find ourselves floating along through life, not feeling like we have much of a say in how things look or feel, and not feeling grounded to the earth. We make decisions with other people's feelings or judgments of us in mind, often veering from what, instinctually, we know we truly need. Sometimes we do this in an attempt to connect with others, people-please, or we're just trying to not rock the boat. However, over time, this pattern leaves us feeling empty, unsatisfied, and unsure of who we really are. It's difficult to be present and experience joy in life, no matter our circumstances, when we are living to create or retain an image of ourselves that is not authentic.
"There's got to be more to life..."
Our culture tends to emphasize perfectionism, making it quite difficult to relax into our own lives as they are now, which, inherently for most of us, is imperfect. Particularly when scrolling through social media, watching TV, or looking though magazines, we often fall into the comparison cycle, and end up feeling that we are not <insert adjective here> enough, or our lives are not <insert adjective here> enough, or our bodies are not <insert adjective here> enough. These thoughts hugely impact our self-confidence, self-worth, and ultimately shake our feelings of self-love, and further preoccupy us with distraction from what life is really about. Owning our stories exactly as they are, even the difficult parts, and aiming to live as close to our values as we can are key pieces in creating a more solid sense of ourselves, and ultimately an authentic life that feels lighter and more fulfilling, and less pressured to achieve that unattainable state of perfection. Nobody has it all together, despite how it may look on the surface. It takes courage (and a lot of energy!) to be vulnerable enough to truly live authentically and with integrity, placing our focus and actions on what aligns with us rather than what may be expected from the outside world. The benefits of doing so are vast.