Sit With Discomfort

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“Stop leaving and you will arrive.  Stop searching and you will see.  Stop running away and you will be found,” Lao Tzu.  I leave all the time.  I’ve never allowed myself the experience of being truly present.  I’m also constantly searching for something that will tell me who I am.  I adore reading and I’ve been going through a kick of teaching myself how to get in touch with who I am.  I’ve bought a ton of books and I may not even get to them.  But it’s a security thing—I have them and I can teach myself how to “get better.”  I’m missing the key component of actually applying what I’m looking at.  I can’t say whether or not an idea or concept is really working because I flit so quickly from concept to concept.  I want to get better, but I rarely have the patience to see it through. 

It’s uncomfortable to sit with the truth of who I am because I’ve lived my life looking for other people’s approval.  It’s easy to hide behind doing what people tell you to or to adapt to who is around you.  It’s far more difficult to stand firmly in what you believe in, to stand in your own identity.  Being a chameleon has it’s benefits, yes; being adaptable to the group you’re with, learning new things, seeing multiple points of view and understanding them are all valuable qualities.  But it’s lonely taking on the traits of those you surround yourself with because they aren’t yours.  I’ve been the chameleon my whole life.  I’ve had some fabulous experiences and I’ve met amazing people—but I was never fully engaged in what I was doing. 

I moved from group to group, always looking for a way to fulfill my need to be accepted.  I never bothered asking what others needed or what value I could bring to the table—I just wanted to be a part of something that would have me.  I was a selfish child, maybe a bit entitled, and I was terrified of being left out.  Like every teenager trying to prove how hard it is, I pushed away all the people who genuinely accepted me.  The ones who really knew me.  I isolated myself and then cried victim.  Not that this story is unique, just that I know I carried some of those traits with me into adulthood. 

Now I know it’s time to let go of fear and do the work.  More importantly, it’s time to apply the work instead of hopping from one idea to the next without seeing it through to completion or giving it the chance to succeed.  We will all die and there is no time like the present to do what feels right to you.  I’ve been running and searching and looking everywhere but inside to find my authentic self.  I mean, I’ve touched on that person but I haven’t fully integrated her yet.  It’s time to ask what I’m really bringing to the table. 

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