“Whatever you are physically…male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy–all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside.” ~ Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel
Throughout life, other people, and even yourself, will expect things from you. This may be a role, a stage in life, career choices, etc. But the only person who ultimately decides these things, is you. And the person who it needs to be good for is you as well. The problem occurs when you are not sure.
Either because you don’t know yourself enough to know what’s right for you, or if other people’s voices get muddled with yours, leaving you not knowing which way is up. This can leave a person feeling stressed, anxious, and confused; and even more importantly, result in decisions that aren’t right for them and their unique path.
Knowing yourself in order to know your path is one of the most important things you will learn, practice, and relearn, throughout your life. But if you are to take control, and be your own judge, you must learn to discern between your own unique voice and those of others.
Here are a few things that might help:
Have conversations with yourself
How does one stay true to themselves if they do not KNOW themselves? You may know what your friends favorite things are, and what kind of clothes they wear, but you don’t know who they are deep down until you take the time to talk to them. Same for yourself.
Take the time each day to simply chat with yourself (this does not have to be out loud), find out how you’re feeling that day, what would make you feel better when you’re feeling down etc.
A simple “how are you doing in there today?” is enough. Talk to yourself as if you are talking to a friend; without judgment or scolding. Not only will you be happier by creating this loving and healthy relationship with yourself, but you will clearly feel your wants and needs, even if other people try to convince you otherwise.
A shopping trip with friends won’t result in you buying something that is really more suited for them, and big life decisions will be made with a clear and conscious mind, that knows what is truly best for you.
Another way to help know yourself, is to gather all your selves together. Gather yourself, or an image of yourself, in your mind at every age or stage. When you have all your selves gathered, sit down all together and feel how you are all the same continuous person.
This is good for when you have a tough question or decision, and can’t figure out where you stand. It will become clearer to you, as you sit with yourself, what is truly the best thing for (all of) you.
Set boundaries around powerful energies
Especially for a person who is tuned to a slower, or calmer frequency, they are more likely to be overpowered by fast-paced, or intense people. If you are easily drained by social gatherings or whirlwind personalities then you need to know how to protect yourself in those situations, so that you don’t lose all your energy.
I’ve had people tell me “I have a friend, and she’s great and all, but I come away from time with her feeling completely drained and wiped out. She just requires all of my energy, and then there’s none left for me.” Or, people who say “I’m usually such a confident person, but all of a sudden, I’m around certain people or settings, and I shut down.”
These people are being overpowered by stronger or more demanding energies than they themselves put out. There are a few ways to help protect yourself in these situations:
1) Visualize a bubble or barrier around yourself and your space. Take a deep breath, ground yourself, and imagine a protective bubble, wall, or curtain, all around you. It can be any shape or size, and you can keep it around you for as long as you need.
This may take some practice, so practice at home, or wherever you are right now.
The more you practice, the more protective your bubble will feel, and the longer you can keep it up.
This technique is good for when you’re feeling overwhelmed and need a moment to recharge, or hold onto your energy. You can talk to your energetic colleague from inside the bubble, or you can just put it up for a minute to catch your breath.
2) The second technique is for moments when you are feeling threatened; whether it’s a meeting room full of intimidating higher-ups, or a threatening person walking toward you on the street. This is a grounding technique: stand firmly and envision that you are a strong tree, with your roots planted securely in the earth.
Let yourself stand tall and straight and feel the confidence in your chest. You can do this before or during a stressful situation. Take a few deep breaths, stand strong and firm, and feel the peaceful strength that it creates.
Spend time around people who know the real you
Of course, life requires us to spend time around many different kinds of people. Some who may have knows us for years, some who have knows us for a few minutes, and some who seem to have known us before we even did.
And we must accept all these types of friendships and interactions, but to really thrive it is important to make time for the people who really know us. Because they help you see yourself. It is easy to lose sight of yourself sometimes, when you are rushing about in the real world, and dealing with real world problems.
We can sometimes forget about our soul, and our soul people. So, make sure to carve out time for your special people. They were given to you in order to help you know yourself, and guide you down your path.
Take time to respond
When asked a question, take time to respond. If asked for a favor, do not say yes or no right away. If you are normally a person who is inclined to people please, this will help you gather yourself, and your real desires, before you agree to too many favors.
This will also be helpful if you are all too ready to agree with the opinion of others, instead of voicing your own. Taking the time to sit in yourself before responding gives you the time and space to really feel yourself, and voice thought out responses, that really come from the depths of you.