Tuesday, November 24, 2015

On Learning to Become my Best Self

(Insert obligatory apology for it being over a year since my last entry....and moving on...) 

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to find yourself.  More specifically how to find your BEST self. 

And hold onto it.

I know I found my best self once.  It took me years but when I discovered her, there all the time…those were the happiest and most content years of my life. 

I knew exactly who I was and that gave me confidence, compassion, charity, and love. 

And then…

I lost her.

Two years give or take, and I lost her.

Anxiety, depression, and a total lack of trust of my mind, my heart, and myself took away all my confidence.  Everything I was so positive of.  And with it went the contentment.

I’ve spent the better part of the last 2-3 years trying to find her again.

I still haven’t succeeded.  I’m not giving up.

But here’s the trick to that: You’re best self is never the same person twice. Just like YOU are never the same person twice.  We are all constantly growing, learning, and moving in some direction that changes us.  Whether infinitesimally or in great leaps and bounds, we are all changing.  For better. For worse.  That’s up to you.

But the change is there.

And so with that knowledge comes the impossibility of ever being someone you used to be.

This was something I didn’t understand for a long time.  When I lost my confidence, contentment, and all that I thought was “my best self”, I was convinced that I knew how to find her again, and stick her back to me like Peter Pan trying to stick his shadow back on with soap. 

I believed that if I could just gather all the components of my life while I was at my best and jumble them together in the life I had now, that I could be that version of myself again.

I believed this and as I desperately tried to execute it, I didn’t want to hear any different.

Luckily, I had a very patient and understanding friend.  He told me over and over that I was fighting a losing battle.  That I could never be who I was before.  And that all the things I was doing to try to get there were going to end up simply disappointing me. 

I fought back for quite a while before I realized that he was right.

And for a while I was angry and upset and it felt hopeless.

I thought that if I couldn’t become who I was when I was happiest, then there was no way I could ever be in a happiest state again.


You can never be the same person twice.

I was never going to be that girl again.

And as long as I kept trying, I was going to keep myself from becoming the woman I had the potential to be.

I was trying to ignore all the flaws I had picked up, all the cracks in my mind, all the nonsense.  I was trying to force myself back my skin from two years ago.  Like trying to fit into the clothes you wore when you were a child.

What I needed to do was accept those flaws as a part of who I was becoming, and then use them to shape who I wanted to be. I needed to be comfortable in the skin I was in and then work on making the improvements needed so that I could be my best self 2.0. 

Little by little I have picked up pieces.  I have sewn torn seams, I had sealed cracks.  Only to find new ones from time to time.

That’s life. 

The only time we find ourselves perfected is in the life to come.

Even now I have days where I feel like I might never find my best self again.  I’ve come close, and then lost it.

I feel at times as if I’m still losing it.


Further and further away from the vision of the woman I saw myself becoming.

Eventually, I will have to turn away from that image and create a new one.  One just as pleasing and grand.  One with just as much confidence, potential, compassion, and love as before. But different.

Because I am changing every day.

Some days it’s a new crack.

Some days it’s a repair.

I am thankful for that friend who helped me see the truth, and stop holding onto the past.

It’s ok to  use the past as a template, and a learning experience. 

But never should we try to go back.

That leads to madness.

Always we need to be moving forward. For all forward movement is progression.

And it will lead us home.


Julina said...

It's kind of funny to me (but also sad) that our fisheries and wildlife expert couldn't see it for so long - when a snake sheds her skin, she leaves it behind. It can't go back on.

When a tadpole becomes a frog, it doesn't ever go back to being legless (Doc Hopper and the Far Side notwithstanding ;)

And ask Heimlich (Bugs Life) - once you become a "beautiful butterfly", your days of being a caterpillar are over (even when your wings aren't big enough to lift you, ha ha)

Sometimes some of the traits and markings follow (like the snake or a bird that's molted). But most of the time, it's a new beginning, a new life. For a reason, as you say.

And I believe that it is ultimately in that change, that growth, that happiness is found.

And it is in trying to stay the same or worse, grow back, that we experience damnation in it's truest sense.

May our Father in Heaven bless and keep you in your journey onward and upward. I continue to pray for you to find your new joy.

Love you, sis...

Jeanne, the mom and grandmom said...

Very wise words, dear Sarah

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