Jun. 15, 2016

Learning to Live from "Who I am…"

Ready to hear something positive? Perhaps even life changing? How about this…

You are not alone, and you are loved.

I could be wrong, but it seems that most of the world around me seems to have forgotten that fact. When we believe that we are alone and that no one loves us (or even likes us), then we isolate ourselves from others and eventually fall into depression and despair. This really is simplifying something much bigger, but my own experience has qualified me to share what I've found.

We all have dreams, talents and attributes of our character that help to form the deepest parts of our identity. That deep place is frighteningly fragile, and yet also the place that holds our greatest strength. How we reveal our identity to the world around us is what establishes the level of fulfillment we have in life. In my own case, my weight was what caused me to withdraw and my life suffered greatly because of it. That deprived me of my dreams, my talents were unutilized and stagnant, and the lack of hope impacted how I was able to love others and myself. It is frightening how fragile our identities are and how quickly we can fall into depression that we can't seem to navigate out of ourselves. This place is exactly where I want you to be empowered to bring wholeness of life to people around you.

Take a moment to look around you. There are people everywhere that are desperate for the simple answers you can offer. You can help rebuild their dreams and inspire them to use their talents again (or inspire the people around you to go even further by your words and actions).

So, here's a little exercise. Get two or three post-it notes. Think of two or three people. (You can think of family, but stretch yourself and try to think of friends and neighbors.) Write one name on the top of each post-it note and then think of one thing that they really want to do (we can call these "dreams"). Then think of one or two things that keep them from accomplishing those "dreams". This is the important part--try to think more of what hinders them in releasing their talents, rather than the typical American mentality of throw money at it. Stick them on your bathroom mirror to remind you of both the people and their dreams. Then, as you come in contact with them, encourage them beyond those barriers through your words, actions, and whatever is appropriate. Two things will happen over time; they will rediscover hope, and you will find yourself inspired to live from who you are. 

I guess what I'm saying is, living from "who you are" is less about personal discovery and more about helping others discover themselves. Why? Because it is the same search for all of us. It is the same road. The same directions. There has been a lot of research done about how we can create joy and purpose in our own lives by bringing joy to others. The more we step out of our comfort zone to help someone else discover themselves, the more we bring joy and purpose to our own lives. It is how we express true love through ourselves to the world that we find true happiness.