“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk, author, and peace activist
When I work with clients I’m often asked, “Who am I and what’s my purpose?” In fact, for many years I asked these same questions during my own meditations. Looking back there are 3 moments that stand out for me as I’ve traveled this journey of spiritual awakening. Several years ago while I attended Theology school, during a Spiritual Direction segment, I was enjoying a walking meditation and I asked, “What’s my purpose?” I heard, “To help people remember.” At the time I had no clue what this meant.
On another day during morning prayer I saw the words from Hosea written on the wall behind the altar, “Come to the desert and I will speak to your heart.” Tears rolled down my cheeks. Not long before I had relocated to Arizona from the Bay Area with my family. The third stand out moment, as I look back, came during an intense weekend retreat where, during one of the exercises, we were asked to shout out, “Who am I?” I shouted, “LOVE!” That’s who I am. Others participating shouted different things. We are all individual and unique! So are our journeys.
These experiences felt like seeds that had been planted and brought into my consciousness. It’s taken many many years to nurture, reflect, and allow them to grow. Accepting and BEing myself without wanting to please others first has been quite a journey. How about you? Others believed in me long before I did. As I’ve continued to grow and evolve, becoming more of who I am, I find I’m able to accept myself – the self who is becoming more loving, understanding and compassionate.
I found this quote from Emily McDowell, Writer, illustrator, speaker and teacher who said, “FINDING YOURSELF is not really how it works. You aren’t a ten-dollar bill in last winter’s coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people’s opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. FINDING YOURSELF is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an excavation, a remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you.”
I love this quote! It resonates with me and my experience. The way I would describe uncovering my true self is like peeling an onion. Each layer presents opportunities to shed beliefs, habits, norms, and perceptions that we’ve learned from family, friends, contemporaries, co-workers, life experiences, and others who’ve been in leadership roles. The delightful surprise that’s happened is “remembering” who I am – my true self which is LOVE! It’s been a journey of self-rediscovery! The true me has always been there. Through reading, classes, and meditation I’ve been able to remember this truth in deeper ways and embrace me!
Your journey most likely has been different than mine but each one of our journeys are designed to help us “remember” who we are at our core. How we express our divine and true self through our humanity will differ based on what brings us joy and how, when, and if we choose to help others. Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist reminds us to, “Be yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search or struggle. Just be.”
The only moment is NOW and if you aren’t happy with your choices the good news is that you can change them! How beautiful is that? Have you found yourself or are you still searching? I’ve learned that our journey doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact the more ease and grace we allow in our life the more it helps to release resistance, surrender, and let go of the layers that no longer help us. Have fun re-discovering who you are! I’m sending you lots of love!
Once again, I’m grateful for your kind and healing thoughts and words. I’m good! I will be offering a group Zoom channeling session with Luminus and the Messengers of Light on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 @2p MTN/AZ time. If you would like to connect with me or schedule a private session please go to victoriabarna.com.