feelings, truth, and potential.
At age 20, I used to get tied up in knots about who I was. I wanted to be authentic, true to myself in every action, every feeling, every breath that I took.
Part of the problem was that I lived in my head. I over-thought the idea.
I understood that it’s rare to feel one emotion purely. Love, joy, happiness, a bit of fear, some nostalgia, a touch of kindness, or maybe a bit of insecurity, anger, forgiveness, compassion; some understanding, some hurt, some sadness, love unrequited, other “stuff” — emotions seem to come mostly in groups that can’t be sorted out.
I wondered if I feel 10% forgiveness and 60% hurt is the forgiveness any less me? Couldn’t I choose to focus on either one and still be true to who I am?
That’s when I would get confused. I had no metric to decide which feeling to go with. If I chose a “positive” feeling or one that is other-centered was I being a “people pleaser”? If I chose a “negative” one, was I being selfish?
I was only 20. I didn’t have much life experience from which to draw. It was probably frustration that made me realize that my focus on the present was keeping me confounded. Finally, I looked to the future.
Once my focus turned to Who do I want to be? Being true to myself suddenly became easy.
When I need a decision on how to act, I put my faith in the person I want to be. What would she do? How would she feel about this? The person I aspire to become became my role model and my counsel.
My truth became firmly footed in the other-centered person I hope to become. My journey found a direction and a purpose, a heading toward the person I could possibly be. I’ll never reach her, because every moment I imagine that potential as slightly more.
It’s the knowing that I’m going in the right direction that counts.
How do you find personal truth? How do you reach for your potential?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
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