Who Are You?
Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.
— Lao Tzu
Are you brave? If the answer is yes then ask your nearest and dearest to express what they really think about you – the good and the questionable. By understanding what the people who love us the most truly think about us – we can begin to form a picture of who we are. Do their opinions mesh with what you think of yourself? Or did you get a completely abstract image back from them? We seldom see ourselves as other people do. The good news is that most of us will find their loved ones more forgiving of us than we are of ourselves.
Do you think of yourself as fully formed? Or are you still trying to answer the question “who do I want to be when I grow up?” Every day we fill in a little more of our self-portrait, we define the edges and sharpen the focus. Some us will create our image early and it will change little through the years. Most of us will continue to add colour, depth and clarity to our painting for a lifetime. By allowing room for change and growth we accept that life is a journey that never ends and embrace the inevitable ups and downs that come with that knowledge.
Are there things we can do to help us on this journey of self-discovery? Of course.
Be who you are…not who others want you to be. By allowing yourself the freedom to understand that you are a good person, you remove the need for the approval of others. This doesn’t mean you can ignore other people or be unkind…it simply allows you to accept who you are and like that person no matter what anyone else may say or do.
Live quietly. This doesn’t mean you can’t have big, boisterous fun. It doesn’t mean you can’t laugh out loud and shout your joy to the world. It does mean you know how to look inside yourself, to quiet your mind and find inner peace. You can also practice self-care by doing Tai Chi or going to acupuncture or massage sessions.
Don’t look backwards. Life is short and spending time regretting past actions is no way to move forward. Learn from your mistakes but don’t dwell on them. Wisdom is knowing not to repeat patterns that have caused us pain in the past.
Find your passion. Do you love what you do? Or do you just plod along? If you don’t have passion in your life – make room for it. Have you always wanted to paint? Take a class. Learn to play tennis or hockey. Whatever gets you excited…make room for it in your life. Life without joy is no life at all.
Traditional Medicine is all about balance. By truly getting to know yourself – by embracing the good and the not-so-good you will help your mind, body and spirit achieve the balance it needs. You might even learn to love yourself a little better and forgive yourself a little more often.