Lets begin with the age-old question, who are you?
Several years ago, answering this seemingly simple question appeared harder than all of my other issues combined: Addiction, depression, suicide, learning disabilities, seizures, family drama.. life was hard.
And while my life was falling apart. Deep down my greatest fear was not death, it was never knowing myself. I was slowly realizing that I was going to fucking die, never knowing who I was!
So I ask you this humble question, one struggling human to another, do you know who you are?
If this question frightens you or if you can’t answer it immediately and confidently, please read on.
The depths to which we understand our authentic selves intricately affects every part of our lives. Self understanding frees us from shame, and separates us from the bullshit that is not our identity.
And if we are able to obtain a deeper understanding of who we are, we will be able to craft more meaningful, and authentic relationships with ourselves and others.
Sometimes though, we need help obtaining these deeper understandings.
I know I did.
Join me as I tell the you the rest of my story, what I learned along the way, and also, maybe find out just exactly who you are.
Who the Fuck Are You?
I was a mess.
I really was. I acted on impulse, and possessed just about every bad habit. From the moment I was born my life took to decline.
Until one day, far to late in life, I realized that I had choice.
That I was not my problems, and I was not a slave to the bullshit. I asked myself something spectacular and empowering.
“David, what parts of yourself did you actively, intently, and purposefully choose to create? And which parts chaotically entered your life, idly becoming a part of your identity?”
You see, all that makes up you is emotions, how we choose to present to the world, behave toward others, and treat ourselves.
I realized I could essentially become any version of myself.
I had more questions for myself though.
“What is really preventing me from bridging that gap and making real the person I could choose to become?”
I realized that to become the person I wanted to be, I had to move to action, and give myself permission to step out onto the diving board.
At the end of the day, it was my feelings that so often tricked me into believing I was capable of less, they drove my actions, manipulated the beliefs I held about myself, and encouraged me to operate off of unreliable foundations.
So, what did I do?
I tried to be bold! I tried to Literally choose my life, and base my assumptions of who I wanted to become not off of how I felt, or who I was,but off of what I wanted to achieve.
…Tried is the key word here, because I failed often!
Failure is Bullshit!
I got used to failure.
It became my intimate friend, and just as I thought I was about to succeed andmake it, another storm would brew, and my metaphorical boat would crash.
It soon occurred to me that I needed to fail. That when I did not give myself permission to fail I was underestimating myself.
I also slowly began to realize that failure is bullshit. Just like all the rest of the bullshit which surrounded my life. There is no such thing as failure. Failure is merely a prespective. It is a disposition.
Success is failure.
We all have those stories, which we tell ourselves repeatedly, and for some reason we find sick comfort in their familiarity, even if their contents are negative or false.
I had those stories.
Did I decide the stories? Or was I just used to hearing them?
You see, words and expectations have a powerful effect on the ways we may achieve transformation, or slip into decay, and it can be somewhat confusing to know which narratives we wrote, and which were written for us.
By not choosing our stories, we give power to those who instill in us negative narratives.
I decided I was sick of all the stories. All the nerotic tales imprinted on me by others. So I became my own personal editor. I rearranged and challenged all of my unconscious stories. I separated my core-identity, from the false narrativeswhich told me to identify as shameful, enraged, and solemn.
I then wrote new stories, and told the others to fuck off.
Become Your Best Friend
When was the last time you treated yourself like you might treat your best friend?
Back then, I never treated myself well, or was consious of myself as a person deserving care.
I had another big question for myself.
“Why do we make ourselves exceptions, and present, treat, and talk to others very differently than we would ourselves?”
We communicate with ourselves passively, and with less intent than we deliver to others. We don’t give ourselves compliments, take time for ourselves, advocate for our needs, and we let the negative voices in our heads take control. Then we are perplexed as to why we experience emotions such as insecurity, sadness, and depression.
I realized that I hated myself. That while I feared never knowing myself, it was because I didn’t want to know myself. I had become all of the things which I despised.
I realized that in order to love myself, I would need to become someone I looked up to. That love for myself was not unconditional.
I needed to become my own best friend.