The Coming Year, Meet Yourself !

Thursday, December 29, 2016


Travel far enough, you meet yourself.”

 David Mitchell

Preface: She takes a long deep breath and puts on a counterfeit smile before knocking at the door. Somehow, she has lost herself in the busy schedule – the lights, the people, the expensive fragrances, the exotic food and a million materialistic objects; everything has made her connect with the world but disconnect with her own self. The thought strikes her for a microsecond before the door to the ‘lights and action’ opens – there, she is lost again! Her true self has grown faint at the backdrop of the life she has created for herself to be the person others expect her to be.  

Have you ever found yourself in a networking event becoming cognizant of the fact that you have almost forgotten to be 'you'? Perhaps, at some point we have all exclaimed with fondness and longing ‘Oh! I love catching up with so and so - it’s so easy to be myself in their company!’ Or something like, ‘I feel lonely and downhearted at this gathering, trying hard to make polite conversations with a bunch of terribly superficial people’.

Prior to plunging into the realm of finding and being yourself, the vital step to be taken is to understand who you really are and then be true to that ‘discovery’. Self-knowledge is a pillar on which all virtues rest, said Socrates, and nothing is genuine in its absence. We spend our lives under façades – layers and layers of façades – not giving ourselves the chance to know who we really are, though we think we do know ourselves. Why appreciation and reassurance from others is all that we need to evaluate our self-worth? Is self-awareness a myth? Let bygones be bygones and in the coming year, let’s meet ourselves!

Ever realized how your activities and hopes are reduced to what people expect of you? Imagine how would people react if your true self was exposed before them? Does it really matter how they would react? Knock knock!! Does anyone know the real you? For many of us, a considerable gap exists between our specious and actual selves. We hanker after the freedom to be ourselves but more often than not, we are driven to compromise our uniqueness out of fear of rejection.

Have you ever caught yourself disbelieving someone's opinion of you? Think twice before you dismiss them. After all, we may not know ourselves as well as we think we do! We are constantly challenged by others' opinion of us and social comparisons to reformulate who we are. When we struggle with defining ourselves, we end up yearning after approval and feedback from others to build our self-awareness. However, if we have a strong sense of self image, we do not bother about collecting feedback from others. In that case, we reinterpret, disapprove or take information based on our own coherent sense of self.

Since we grow up in an environment that conditions us to behave in a certain way and be a specific type (the conformist type), it certainly is a difficult thing to be yourself. The repercussions of avoiding one of the deepest truths about ourselves could be ruinous, though. The only upside, however, is that you subconsciously take off your mask in the company of the person (or people) you feel closest to! So, it helps you identify your confidant. Close your eyes, think deep and know who those people are – I bet there are just a few! Treasure them! You can’t be yourself with everyone – it’s too big a risk to take, unless of course you’re ready for a lifelong trial.

In pursuit of imitating others, sense of failure and disillusionment are likely to creep in. Therefore, focus must be on cultivating our own genuine personalities. Would we not be more attractive and interesting when we carve our lives as a true expression of what we really are? To find true fulfillment, trusting your intuitions and instincts is significant. Look deep within to find your source of satisfaction and follow through your path.

Some situations and people may be best dealt with by hiding your true selves. You cannot be a lone warrior going on a rampage declaring your true feelings and thoughts on a horseback. Therefore, in perilous situations, where there is a danger to face uncalled-for criticism, belittling of you or your efforts, unnecessary discouragement, anger and abuse, it may be worth looking at how to cut down exposure to such stimuli of harm and danger.

So, it all boils down to one question – what are our true selves? Our true self is what appears when we let go of all the judgments, stories and labels affixed to us. It is the natural us – us after the removal of all pretentiousness. It is what comes out and is visible when the cloak of our mock-up image falls to the ground.

So, the coming year, let's be ourselves! Silent the worldly callings, be all ears to yourself, have faith in what speaks to you and flow with it!

Here's to our true selves! Happy New Year! Happy True You! 

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6 comments

  1. ...And you did it again. Excellent piece of writing. Loved every word of it. Happy New Year:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had the opportunity of reading your thoughts. Most of the time, we try to copy other or follow what others are doing. It can be intentional or it may be unintentional but we have some benchmarks. And while following others we completely forget ourselves. Actually, we feel reluctant to express our inner thoughts due to some fears that may be some one don't like it. Well, we have to express ourselves and should not be worried that how others react to it.

    It happens, not only in personal life but happens in all phases of life, whether professional or while dealing with friends, colleagues or relatives. I feel that we should all be more confident to express ourselves in the true sense.

    Let me also say that many educated people in our society impose conditions on their children about what profession they should follow. This is again very unfair. Parents can guide their children and allow them to choose whatever profession they like.

    Once again, I agree with what you have written.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it starts with self-doubt. When people aren't comfortable in their own skin and fear rejection or disapproval, they start wearing masks to copy those they admire or idealize.
      I agree - career choices are best left to the children. Parents and relatives can of course guide them and help them choose what they are most interested in, but individuals should be the ultimate authority on themselves.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!

      Delete
  3. you never fail to inspire your readers.I am a huge fan of your writings,plz consider writing on social issues as well.it is just a suggestion.keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for your words of praise.
      I will definitely consider your request. Keep visiting the blog!

      Delete

Amna's Goodreads Bookshelf

To Kill a Mockingbird
Animal Farm
Of Mice and Men
The Alchemist
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Romeo and Juliet
Lord of the Flies
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Odyssey
A Tale of Two Cities
Frankenstein
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale
Les Misérables
Eat, Pray, Love
The Poisonwood Bible
The Joy Luck Club
Middlesex
The Memory Keeper's Daughter
Lolita
Under the Tuscan Sun


Amna Tariq Shah's favorite books »