Do any of you watch ‘What Not to Wear’? Do you see how these ‘crimes against fashion’ go through this massive transformation not just on the outside but on the inside? Every show ends in tears. They didn’t know they could look this good or feel this good. They weren’t sure of whom they were but now they are on the path to self-discovery. They are relieved, happy, and assured. It wasn’t just about finding the perfect pair of jeans to go with their body type. Or finding just the right accessory to pick up that sliver of colour in the pattern on their skirt. It’s pretty remarkable. I get choked up right along with them. They get reinvented and become more of who they are.
I’ve been thinking about this since Saturday. It isn’t a long amount of time I know. This would sound cooler or maybe obsessive? if I said I had been thinking about this for months now or researched it for years. Although I kinda think my life is research especially in this area – the area of self-awareness.
Maybe you’re dismissive of self-awareness (I know I get ‘finding myself’ burn out) but do you think being self-aware gives you a better life? And do we deserve a good life?
I think we do.
I’m not talking about a life of luxury although that would be nice, wouldn’t it? Money to go on shopping sprees, trips around the world, and a yacht. This is what the very rich have, right? Oh, and a private jet. They have those too. I think I could settle with being able to afford my mortgage and maybe one or two… oh hell…. many shopping sprees, but spaced widely apart so that you would get that shopping high. (I’m a little short of breath right now)
I digress. I think we deserve a good life and by that I mean a life where we are fulfilled, somewhat happy, and at peace.
I think a way of reaching that is to be in tune with you – to know who you are. I know this to be true about me. I have, long ago, not paid attention to my feelings or what was going on with me and paid dearly for it. I was so busy shutting off and shutting down that I didn’t know who I was and I lost my ability to feel and to cope. I wasn’t true to me.
I know we live in a very me society. We must love ourselves… blah, blah, blah. It can get nauseating. But, all the while I was forgetting me I was helping people. I was one of those people that were actually ‘making a difference’. I loved it until I got so far away from myself that I didn’t know if I loved or hated, cared or didn’t care….. I didn’t recognize me. No amount of helping others helped me and I got sick.
It was a very long time ago. I did get better – much better. I found my way back to me and from there began to go in search of parts of life I had not explored yet. I was reinvented.
In the search I got to know me and I learned what pushed my buttons (good and bad). How could a person go through a big chunk of their life without knowing what bugs them?? That was me. More importantly I liked what I found. Liking myself did not come easy which, of course, was half the problem.
I grew coping skills. And I say grew because it took some time to acquire these skills.
Along the way there were some things I threw out like not expressing my opinions. Imagine. Me. Not expressing opinions! Now I express them wherever and whenever I can. Some things I hung on to like needing space. I have always and will continue to need space. Some things I am still working on like the control freak in me.
I think as we move through life we are always in need of a little reinvention. A tweak here and an upgrade there. If you know who you are it will help you to move forward, to love, to cope, to help others, to be healthy, and ultimately have a fulfilling life.
If you know what you’re all about you get a good idea of what you want. You’ll figure out the changes you need to make. It doesn’t fix everything, but it’s a good place to launch from. I don’t always know what I want. Me and my flip-flopping ways. That hasn’t changed but I know who I am and I think that has served me well over the last 100 years of my life. It has saved me.
In the burn fund
I’m speaking at Heritage Hall tonight at an event held by the burn fund. They are raising money for a burn fund building that is up and coming on Main St in Vancouver. I’ll be speaking about how this building will be a place of resource – the resource of research and the resource of community. I love these guys and can’t say enough good things about them.
This is a photo of ‘bright nights’ which is an event at Stanley Park that the Burn Fund puts on every year around Christmas.