Know yourself

Hey everybody!  I’m back and hope you’ve all had a fantastic start to your week.  I’ve uploaded all the pictures from my mini-trip with my mom and her husband and am super excited to tell you all about their first time to London (and my first time seeing my mom in 8 months!) but first…it’s that time of week!

Needless to say, my mom and I hardly shut up the entire time we were together this past week.  We talked about everything under the sun, and given the pace we were cramming words into conversation I think we could put an auctioneer to shame!  Sprinkled among the fun and lighthearted talks were a few more serious ones, namely about my future and whether I’ll be staying in Scotland or not after graduation.  As of now the plan is to stay here and find work either in Edinburgh or London (or Aberdeen for a few years, I’ll take that) and my mom, being the profound woman she is, remarked that I seemed happier and more comfortable here than during my time in the States.  So on the train ride back to Aberdeen, and in the days since, I thought about this.  I know I’m happier here and I feel like I “belong” more in the UK than in the United States.  Don’t get me wrong, I love America and where I came from, but-I’m not sure if it was my little town or just the country in general-it never fully felt normal, if that makes sense?  I felt at home with my family but away from them, and especially as I got older, I had the distinct feeling that I was supposed to be elsewhere.  That’s partly what inspired my travels, along with my curiosity about everything on this earth, and when I first studied in London four years ago I felt that I had found that place to belong.

Fast forward to now.  I’m a bit older and wiser and, though I’m quickly realising I’ll never know everything (something my teenage self was blissfully unaware of), I have discovered one of the reasons I feel so much more at home in Scotland and the UK as a whole.

Eckhart Tolle wrote, “to know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.”

While I could spend ages picking that thought apart (and might do later) what really struck me was this notion that to know ourselves, through all the noise and distraction of our being and our life, is freedom.  Do I fully know myself and all my complexities, quirks, flaws, and strengths?  Absolutely not.  I’m still learning about myself, a journey I’ll embark on throughout my lifetime, but beginning to understand who I really am has been so incredibly liberating.  Before moving here my mind was a flurry of questions like “what do I want?” and “where do I want to be?” and now, seven months into my life in the UK, I’m beginning to discover the answers to these queries and more. I feel more certain of myself, more confident in my decisions, and even more sure in my doubts-as ridiculous and contradictory as that is!  And you know what?  Finding these answers, even when they lead to more questions (as they tend to do) has done wonders for my happiness and sense of self.

I’m not sure if I’m doing my thoughts justice while trying to pen them to paper, in a manner of speaking.  But what I do know is that knowing yourself, or beginning to, can have such a positive impact on your life.  Through knowing ourselves we become better able to pursue those dreams, aspirations, or goals deep inside us.  We find a true sense of self, one that may stay the same or may change throughout our lifetime.  We become more open to the idea that we may very well know nothing, or that we know ourselves beyond a shadow of a doubt.  It can be as deep and philosophical–or not–as we want.  The point is, knowing yourself can only lead to a better sense of being for you.

This week I challenge you to learn something new about yourself each day.  It could be something profound, like your views on politics/religion/spirituality/insert deep topic not usually discussed at dinner here.  Or it could be simple things, like becoming aware of patterns in your morning routine or whether you cut your food with the fork in your left or right hand.  Seriously, it doesn’t have to be an earth-shattering revelation.  Becoming mindful of little things that make us who we are leads to learning about the bigger aspects of our being, and so forth.  It’s a beautiful domino effect.  Let me know what you discover, or have discovered, about yourself below!


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