I’m not sure about you but I’ve spent a good deal of my life shifting and trying to morph into the person I believed other people wanted or expected me to be. I had no proof of their expectations, I simply defaulted to the belief that I was falling short in their eyes and, unfortunately, adopted this as my “self-created” reality.
There were other times where I got stuck in the trap of constant comparison. Not necessarily with material things, but more in the area of accomplishments. This typically led to an overly critical assessment as to why I hadn’t accomplished more.
These two patterns have caused more frustration, pain, and blows to my self-image than anything else I’m aware of. The sad thing is … I did it to myself!
The fact is, I created those stories in my head based on my insecurities at the time, and those stories began to settle in as truth. I didn’t have any external evidence to rationally point me in the direction of the conclusion I arrived at, but unfortunately knowing that, didn’t make it any less painful.
The last couple years I’ve been spending a bit more time with myself as I’ve been hiking. Whether out in the woods, around the neighborhood, or wherever I can find a hiking path. Amanda has actually joked with me that I can sniff out a trail within minutes of hopping off a plane and arriving in a new city. I’m not sure she sees that as a valuable skill or not considering she’s not a big fan of hiking. Yet! 🙂
The more I’ve hiked, the more time I’ve had to examine who I am, what’s important to me and what value I add to the world. It’s been pretty interesting to spend this time to intentionally “get to know me” while avoiding the clutter from the outside world or from those stories I created in my head.
I’m not gonna lie, this certainly wasn’t easy to do. The first several times I went on these hikes the amount of head trash that was bouncing around between my ears was so loud it was deafening. There were many times where it would take 12 – 24 hours for my mind to settle down enough for me to feel like I was present and I could actually notice the world around me.
The more I hiked, and the more time I spent “getting to know me,” the easier it became. Another remarkable thing that occurred was that I started to realize I was pretty “kick ass” and that I actually like who I am!
Crazy enough, even arriving at this conclusion didn’t come without its own set of head trash. I experienced thoughts like …
“You like yourself? That’s kind of arrogant don’t you think?”
Lately I haven’t experienced much of this head trash at all. It definitely seems to have diminished. At least for now. I’m not sure if that’s a sign that I’ve developed a better understanding of how things really are, or if hiking has helped lower my stress level to a point where I’m not obsessing as much as I used to.
The bottom line is each and every one of us are unique. We have the right to express ourselves in any way that we so choose, as long as we’re not infringing upon someone else’s happiness or right to express themselves. You have the right to be “you” and to openly celebrate the “you” that you’ve become. It’s not only “OK” to be “OK” with who you are … I believe it’s a requirement if you ever want to live a peaceful life.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post! I’d love it if you left a comment if something “hit home” as you were reading. If you know someone who you believe could benefit from reading this post, please share it with them.
Until Next Time … Enjoy Each Moment!