“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” ~Henry David Thoreau
Have you ever thought about it? When you say you’re going to find yourself, what exactly are you looking for?
Self-discovery. Self-searching. Soul-searching. Finding oneself. It’s almost impossible to dodge from the thousands of articles like these emblazoned across the internet, printed on magazines, published on books, and even stamped on coffee mugs with quotes. There is no way you could have reached this day and age without bumping to at least an article or two which is why I am creating one now, in case you missed them all.
Celebrities talk about it. People from the government mention these things. Your colleagues are all way up in their heads talking about going to Bali on a mission to finding oneself which apparently is a good way to re-calibrate life but did you ever pause for a moment to think, what are they really looking for? What are you looking for?
From the moment you and every one of us here on this planet was born, we are completely blank. We have no idea how to speak, what words mean, we can’t even differentiate language from the barking sound of our neighbor’s dog. At the infant stage, we know nothing, John Snow. So why is it that we become adults ready to take on the world with all these big ideas in our heads we, would like to at least once in our life, try to find ourselves? I mean, not every one of us but I guess most of us does. What does this mean?
Purpose. Is it a purpose? Life meaning. Is it purpose and life meaning and things like that, that you’re hoping to find when you booked that ticket bound to Jezero Crater, Mars scheduled for departure on 2026? Well, guess what, for the love of Mars I booked my name too! If you haven’t yet already well what are you doing? Don’t you want your name sent on a greatly important mission to Mars?
Now here is where I become more serious. Excuse me. Please excuse the rudeness but I’ll be popping your balloon. This talk about purpose, life meaning, finding out what you really want to become, finding out who you are, all these things, you don’t have any of these things when you were born. None of us did. All we have is our body’s reflex response.
Can I ask you a question for the nth time? How exactly do you find something that you’re not aware of?
Have you ever given a thought about your big dreams? I will share with you mine. When I was 9, I want to become someone who sends people off to the moon and the reason is simple. I love my science teacher and I like the topic of Solar of System.
However, when I turned 10 I began to discover marine life because my mom bought a tiny goldfish for us to look at and get entertained because at the time (the 1990s in a tiny hometown in the province) we have a television but a good signal is hard to come by so we can’t really watch tv. The arrival of this goldfish brought me new a dream. This time I want to become someone who studies fish and marine life. Please bear with me, just a bit longer.
We’re getting closer to the point here now. When I was 12 my aunt from Canada sent a package with lots of stuff that I am not interested in except for the chocolates but along with those sweets she sent me books. It was a set of five books — the Harry Potter Series. Boom. My interest and love for writing came to be.
Let’s ponder for a moment. What if, just what if. Instead of Harry Potter, I was sent huge encyclopedias about fishes and marine biology? Notebooks filled with colorful drawings of corals? A pretty bag printed with a cute goldfish? Cds of documentaries about the fishes in the ocean? I’m pretty sure I would have gone off to college with only one thing on my mind — fishes.
Now, I’m guessing maybe you’re wondering what’s the point of all of these? What’s with the story of my ever-changing dream?
My point here is, your likes, dislikes, personal preferences, dreams, acquired skills, talents, beliefs, habits, patterns that you’ve been doing all this time, all these things are external. All these things are what your environment gave you. None of these things are born with you, and if these pieces of stuff are what makes up who you are, if all these are what directs you to your purpose and life meaning, what is there to find within you?
I’ll tell you what you’ll find, an intricately complex interaction of all your experiences from birth. Does that define you?
It’s up to you.
I don’t have anything against this finding yourself and your purpose thing because really it’s actually what I have been doing all this time. I’m sticking to writing because this for me is my life meaning, something that’s not innate but brought by external factors. Now the only problem I have with this system or belief or whatever you want to call it is its limiting power because now I am boxed to this idea of me.
I am boxed to this idea that I am sticking to writing because I love doing it, and all of these resulted from my aunt sending me Harry Potter books 15 years ago. Limiting and labeling ourselves is one of the key takeaways of mindlessness. This is living on autopilot. This is exercising muscle memory. I don’t want you to live like this.
Please, see the world. At the moment I am devoting myself to writing blog posts but I still want my definition to be open. On the fringes, I am exploring other things like crocheting and playing ukulele.
Please do see what’s out there. Immerse yourself more. Although not literally at this time because of the Covid but, go explore before you decide to box yourself on a single definition, on a specific dream.
What you have now is but mere influence of your environment since birth. Don’t limit yourself. Go explore. There are thousands of online classes about all sorts of things, millions of informative videos, and articles across the internet. I know you already have your personal preferences at this point but trying something new will not hurt you.
This is not about searching for yourself. In fact, this is not about searching for anything, because the truth is, our purpose and life meaning, who we are, what we want to be, where we want to be, all these things are all but a mere accumulation of our experiences which are later on to be simply determined by our choices. That’s it.
P.S. Can I just say woohoo!?
I want to extend my deepest gratitude to each of you who have signed up for the free Mindfulness for Beginners Course. Honestly the number surprised me! I truly appreciate that you guys trusted me and gave me some of your time. I am currently cooking something so expect a new announcement! I don’t want to spoil anything but there I said it. (!!!) Thank you so much!
Also, did you notice? We now have our own artwork avatar! For this amazing creation I want to thank Rhoela of The Girl with a Pink Backpack. You can find her Instagram account HERE. Thank you so much, girl!
Hello! Thank you for reading this from The Mindful Modus.
My name is Princess of The Mindful Modus, a blogger on a mission of helping people develop a healthy approach to work and life by incorporating mindful practices to everyday, mundane self care routines. All the contents of my blog are decaf-initely free but a coffee can greatly help me stay awake! Thank you so much!