Awareness, Truth and Self-Love: The Foundations to Personal Growth

It’s been a while since I last posted. I wasn’t sure what to write about and I didn’t want to write for the sake of being consistent. I finally asked myself, ‘what’s been happening for me recently?’ and here’s what came up. No pretence, no filters…

Throughout my journey of self-development, which has really become a conscious and major part of my life in the past 2 years, I have learnt, tried and practised a range of different exercises and tools which have guided me in understanding myself more than ever before.

Yoga has enabled me to connect my mind and my body, to develop my intuition, to develop patience and the ability to stay present. Mindfulness and meditation have enabled me to be the observer of my thoughts, to embrace stillness and silence and to just be. Journaling allows me to process my thoughts and feelings and serves as a simple and gentle means of emotional expression. All the books, blogs, videos and podcasts I’ve read, watched and listened to have taught me and reinforced to me the importance of loving and accepting myself, of respecting and taking care of my body, of doing things that I enjoy every day, of noticing when I am reacting from my ego mind (and choosing to let it go), of practising gratitude, of choosing to surround myself with people and situations who support and inspire me…

Absorbing all this knowledge, insight and wisdom on a daily basis and trying out new tools and exercises is one of my main passions and drive in life.  I’ve learnt that it’s not about becoming someone new but about returning to your true self, the one that’s always been there. This is done by acknowledging the layers of labels, beliefs, habits, standards and expectations that no longer serve us; by choosing to let them go and by replacing them with ones that empower us. I frequently acknowledge how far I’ve come, how much I’ve grown – or so I thought…

I recently took an online personality test that a friend recommended, and whilst answering the questions very honestly, I felt a sense of disappointment and shame seep in…

No, I don’t usually take initiative in social situations.
Yes, my mood can change quickly.
No, I wouldn’t consider myself highly motivated and energetic.
Yes, I do let others influence my decisions, and yes, I worry about how my actions affect others.
Yes, I do feel insecure quite often.

Wow, reality check. Had I really grown?

When I read the detailed results at the end, I noticed some other feelings arise. There was a sense of relief and comfort in feeling understood and validated, since there are clearly other people out there like me. It was an unsettling mix of emotions.

A little while after, I began to reflect on just how complex we are.

Yes, I score highly as an introvert; I like to recharge alone or at home with my partner after spending time at a social event and I tend to process my thoughts and feelings internally or on paper instead of verbally…but I’m also willing to take risks and step out of my comfort zone when it feels right – I’ve travelled for a few weeks alone in Australia; I moved to a brand new country and culture; I’ve sang in a hotel bar and at a friends’ birthday party; I’ve asked a stranger if they’d like to share a taxi, I’ve done live videos on Facebook; I’ve shared my story and posts like these publicly.

Yes, my mood can change quickly; many times after doing something I enjoy alone, I’ve felt peaceful, satisfied and full of good intentions, only to find myself easily irritated by something someone says or does (and then feeling annoyed at myself for letting that happen). But the important thing is that I am aware of this happening; sometimes I just reflect on it and other times I consciously choose to change my attitude in that moment. It’s this awareness that is the foundation to personal growth.

Yes, I do feel insecure often; I fear judgement from others whether it’s about my body language, my words or my actions, but I can also be the witness of this fear and recognise that’s it’s my own projection and no one else’s. I regularly tell myself how much I love myself, despite my imperfections and weaknesses, and this is something I would never have dreamed of doing before.

Yes, I can let others easily influence my decisions when I’m stuck in indecisive mode, but I also know when to turn inwards and honour my personal values, desires and preferences.

This is what it all comes down to. Knowing and understanding yourself enough to honour your truth whilst remaining open and willing to learn and grow.

So yes, of course I’ve grown and no, I am not a ‘perfect’ human made up of only strengths and successes.

I am unique. And I love myself, just as I am, in this moment.

I am a student of life, for life. And I’m so grateful for this journey.

 

So let me ask you:

Are you grateful for your journey? Or are you resisting it?

Are you honouring your truth? Or are you disconnected from it?

Either way, I hope this inspires you somehow

 

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