Fuck if that isn’t true.
I thought that I would find myself in a bottle. I didn’t.
I thought I would find myself in a marriage. I didn’t.
I thought I would find myself in a career. I didn’t.
In fact, all of the above places were places that I went to lose myself, not find.
But they all provided a great deal of information about who I actually was, instead of who I like to think I was.
Finding myself has been an evolution, to be sure. But I have been the thing I have most wanted to find for the whole of my life, and I have been here the whole time, even when I haven’t.
Where I least wanted to look was within. I avoided looking deep within my own heart and mind to find myself. Somehow thinking that I would find the answers, the depth I sought, the equanimity, the peace, the grace outside myself.
So it has been a bit of circuitous adventure...
I believe that he will bring me all I seek, so I chase him but all he does is break my heart which causes me to have to trek the mountain sides, alone, to find that which was there all the time. Me, someone worth loving./:"1 2
I believe friends and events will bring me all I seek, so I chase them but all they do is leave me feeling more empty than before I started, because friends are not things to have to make oneself feel better, friends are people who walk the journey with you. But because of my insistence that things be other than how they are, I find myself most comfortable alone, so that is where I find out that there is a very large difference between what I call friends and true friendship. So I spend more time alone, and find what I have been looking for all along - a true friendship with myself.
I believe success will bring me all I seek, so I chase success with education, and then a career. In the end I am just chasing money and find myself wondering (repeatedly) if I even like what I do. I earn, and spend, then have to earn some more to keep up with my spending. Another vicious circle that leaves me depleted, in debt and pulled away from all that really matters: my heath, my family, myself. So I leave the money and the career, and find myself sitting alone worrying about how I will make ends meet. And realize that freedom really is just another word for nothing left to lose. And I still have plenty to lose, but now it is things that actually matter.
I have asked myself the question, “What do you most want to find?” My immediate answer is an intimate, committed relationship with someone I love who loves me back. That is always my answer. It is the thing I have chased the most, and it is also the thing I have run from the most. Setting myself up for never being satisfied, but being caught in the pursuit.
Turns out what I most wanted to find was an abiding love for myself, one where I see my defects and am willing to work on them, but I don’t hate myself for having them. One where I feel good about myself but not because I am in the compare and despair bind. One where I just love me because I am flawed and wonderfully amazing and the only version of me that will ever exist.
And it also turns out that the place I absolutely did not want to look was inside myself. I wanted you to define me, or him, or her, or them, or it, or the career, the success, the whatever the fuck, it has been so very many things...
And as I look back over my life, I can now clearly see that everything I have most wanted to find was always in the places I least wanted to look...and that most offensive place has always been inside myself and I believe that is true for most of us. We want the answer, the thing, the magic to be outside us and it just never, ever is. Only when we stop the busyness, the crazy making, the seeking all the things outside of us, can we finally relax with what is...and snuggle down with perhaps a book, and a cat or two and watch the sun set on another day and realize that we were here the whole time...we were just too busy to notice.
And just like that, a conviction, a pledge, a vow ushers forth the way for us to finally find that which we most want to find, that place deep within us that says, “everything you seek is right here, right now. Look within, the answer is always within...”