At the start of every year, I try to set a very specific goal for myself that will be hard to accomplish but would present a considerable amount of growth if attained. This year with the encouragement of my spiritual mentor, I switched it up a little and planted a seed by form of word. My word for 2017 just so happened to be self realization as it is something I have struggled with all my life. I have always felt a little lost in the sauce, kind of going with the flow on everything, which isn’t bad when you’re trying to keep peace but can be very detrimental to your livelihood when you’re trying to be the best version of yourself. Needless to say, I’ve never truly felt like I’ve found myself or know exactly who I am and what I want in life. I’ve never made demands or set up ultimatums that would navigate my life in the direction I wanted it to go.
Instead, I’ve always tried to watch what I say and how I act day to day because I hate confrontation and ruffling people’s feathers. I’ve done and hid things in the past that were innocent in nature because I don’t believe in telling people things that won’t matter months or a year from now to avoid hurting feelings. My mantra has always been that if your intentions were pure then people should respect your approach even if it wasn’t the way they would have gone about things. I have been placed in so many situations in life – even from childhood – where my feelings weren’t considered and I got over things quickly because that’s just my nature. I can’t hold grudges and I believe in looking at the inner person and how they’ve made me feel in life overall and what they could have been dealing with that made them act a certain way. I don’t know how to just give up on people. It takes a large number of times for you to screw me over for me to weed you out. With this, I have learned how giving I can be and realize that I only want similar people in my life.
On the flip side, I have learned to take responsibility for my own actions and understand that just because I didn’t mean any harm doesn’t mean I didn’t cause any. You can explain to someone a thousand times what your intentions were, but actions will forever speak louder than words. I’ve had some situations arise this year that really spoke volumes about my own character in a negative way; but because I actually live inside my head and know what my intentions were, I felt like everyone involved should be as quick to accept and forgive as I have always been. Unfortunately for me, life is just not designed that way. The result of my actions or lack thereof have led to the demise of relationships or at least a change in relationships that may or may not ever be the same again. Initially, this devastated me. I’ve always valued my relationships with others and others’ feelings to the fullest, often more than my own. But what I failed to realize was by me holding in details trying to spare feelings because my intentions were pure, it translated into me being untrustworthy and deceiving.
The major light-bulb moment of all this was the realization that I was hurting myself and others by trying to spare them. Any relationship you have should be open and honest as a means of building trust over time. The moment you stop being transparent with people is a good start in the direction of losing yourself and becoming someone you don’t like. Maybe if you feel like you can’t talk to certain people about things, then it’s time for you to reevaluate why they’re even in your life. It’s been three months since I had my first major dose of self realization and for awhile I went through a period of disliking myself before I truly fell in love with myself again. Now, I just try to live by the Four Agreements so my words and my actions match.
- Be impeccable with your word.
- Don’t take anything personal.
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Always do your best.
I don’t tell anyone I’m going to do something that I don’t intend to do. Not taking things personal can get tricky, but I’m constantly praying to God to not let me be affected by the things people say and do. I quit making assumptions and instead ask questions or talk out situations for a better understanding. Lastly, my best differs from day to day because I feel better on some days than others; but I always try my best to do right by people and live right each and every day (even though my anxiety hasn’t allowed me to get a hold on my procrastination just yet).
At the end of the day I am who I am. I’ve stopped apologizing for who I am, and instead focused on the characteristics I felt needed improvement. I’m not perfect by any means, but no one will ever be able to box me up and throw a label on me just because they think of me a certain way. Self realization is a beautiful thing and from the infamous mouth of Drake himself… “I think I like who I’m becoming.” And that matters to me way more than trying to make sure other people like me too. If you ever get to a point where you feel like you need to start making changes in your life, do what you need to do to get where you want to be; but don’t beat yourself up in the process about what you should’ve, could’ve, would’ve done differently in the past. Check yourself, but don’t wreck yourself… it’s the only way to grow.