MY PATH IS NOT UNCHANGING. WHAT I DO, OWN OR WHAT I FEEL IS NOT SET IN STONE
I have learnt so many positive things from the pain I have experienced in my life. One of these important things is that as human beings we have been conditioned since we are children to label ourselves or identify ourselves as particular things. I had to take a break last year from a lot of the things I absolutely loved to do including my work, writing and other creative outlets. This was incredibly hard because I had learnt to identify these activities as me.
Let’s think about a typical first conversation with someone. The first thing they ask about is what you do? You usually respond with I am a_______. You also list off other things you do, things that make up what you feel is your identity. When these things change suddenly it feels like you loose a part of yourself for a little while.
We use these labels and things to validate our self-worth, to produce an image of a person we want the world to see as acceptable or as someone they can fit into a particular niche or file away into a particular category. We do this to feel normal, successful, powerful and worthy of attention.
Clinging to these identities so desperately without the understanding that things can change can make it incredibly difficult. You can end up feeling like a failure, depressed or lost. There is no reason why change can’t be something positive. There is also no reason why you can’t take a break from things and go back to them again. Change can be a journey of self-growth. You can always learn more, do more and get back to what you love to do if you have been through a difficult time or a change that is out of your control.
1) YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU DO
What you do will change as time goes on. You are a student, you are a waitress, you are an Chef, you are unemployed, you are an Chef again!….It’s just an example but you get the picture. As children we are often pushed to achieve and be the best at what we do. We are offered praise and rewards when we do well. We feel then like we must continue this particular activity and succeed at it and if we don’t we will loose our feeling of self-worth.
Yes money is needed for a stable life and yes we need to work to make money but when striving for money and things becomes something that is making you unhappy you need to reevaluate your situation. Remember that although your job is important it is not YOUR LIFE. You may love your job but it is not all that you are. You have value without it.
2)YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU FEEL
I have always been known as a bubbly, happy person. At work people thought I was always positive and full of energy. I generally was and have these feelings most of the time which is wonderful but when I experienced a lot of tough times I experienced so many emotions. I started to worry I would loose that positive bubbly me as I had experienced so much negativity and hurt but I am not my feelings, I EXPERIENCE feelings. I was told it’s okay to experience all emotions, these are human, we all have them. You are not just a feeling you HAVE many feelings. Instead of saying “I am angry” or “I am sad” Think of it more as “I am experiencing anger right now” or “I have sadness in my body right now.”
3)YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU OWN
As sad as you may be if you lost that phone or car or house. Those things are not who you are. There is nothing wrong with wanting more money or wanting more things things, there are plenty of things I want in the future but it’s when it starts to dominate our thoughts and make us feel more unhappy than happy that we may be going down an unhealthy road. No matter what you have you will always want more and more. Remember that you own your things they do not own you.
4)YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE
As a model for many years I understand there is obviously a lot of focus on looks. You can become self-critical and compare yourself with others. This is a toxic world to be in. We are bombarded with images in newspapers, magazines and TV. There is so much more to you than what you look like. Are you living for the industries that dictate the perfect idea of beauty or are you embracing your beauty both inner and outer? Your body is where you live and you should take care of it. Also try not to surround yourself with shallow or judgemental people you are a beautiful and unique you!
HAVE A PRETTY HEART, A PRETTY MIND, A PRETTY SOUL
5)I AM NOT WHAT YOU THINK
What others think of you may be correct but it also might not be. This is someones perception of you. Although sometimes looking at yourself through other peoples eyes can be a nice thing that makes you feel good. Even your own thoughts of what you are, are just that….thoughts. If you think you are fat or someone else tells you that you are ugly. It is up to you if you want to take that thought on board. People all over the world have different perceptions, different thoughts of how something is.
IT IS THE MARK OF AN INTELLIGENT MIND
TO ENTERTAIN A THOUGHT WITHOUT ACCEPTING IT – Aristotle
It is important that we learn to identify with ourselves as humans in a life that is ever changing, that we are constantly learning and then with understanding, we might not loose ourselves completely when things are suddenly different. You can become so many wonderful things to other wonderful people, you already are so many wonderful things.