Seven Ways to Find Yourself & Love Yourself



This is one of those blog posts that will read more like a journal entry or a heart-to-heart, rather than a persuasive essay. I am writing this as someone in their young twenties, and I imagine, that inevitably, my perspective can and will drastically change as the years go by. To me, your twenties seems to be preoccupied with this concept of finding yourself; however, I have an inkling that this process never really stops.

Finding yourself is an act of self realization that brings a type of contentment that no one else can provide for you, and cannot be bought or sold. Once you find yourself, you can begin to love yourself. True happiness comes from loving and serving others, and true contentment comes from including yourself on that list.

A year ago from this day, I found myself fairly depressed. I was facing a number of personal trials, as well imminent deaths of a number of people close to me. I clearly remember the turning point for me. I picked up a book by Sheri Dew entitled, 'God Wants a Powerful People.' In this book there was a chapter on the value of integrity, including a checklist of questions you could ask yourself. I decided to apply this checklist and start working on perfecting each type of integrity that she presented.

I mention this not because I want to talk about integrity, overcoming depression, or relying upon God during trials. I mention this because this process of self evaluation and subsequent improvement is key to finding yourself. After working through this checklist of being a person of integrity, I found myself becoming happier and happier. I was thinking of others more, I was living with purpose each day, and I felt good about myself. This was a small step towards a larger journey of finding myself. A journey that I still am on today.

After doing the integrity project for a few months, I began to add more things to my list of personal self-fulfillment. Here are just a few things I have been focusing on in order to find myself.


Read good books.

When I read good books (of any and all types of genres), I feel like I have grown as a person within the span of twenty-four hours. If you have always wanted to travel across times and worlds, a great way to do this is with books. I have also purchased more books lately. If I really love a book, I treat myself to it, and I read it and re-read it over and over again. As of recently, I haven't even been reading much fiction. I have purchased and read a lot of lifestyle and recipe books. I did this because this is a skill or area I wanted to become better at. Reading about things you wish you could or would do is sometimes the first step to doing it. Overall, I have found myself growing leaps and bounds when I read more. I also take time to read scholarly articles on areas that interest me. It keeps my brain sharp and my conversations interesting and informed.


Create something.

I have been creating art. You may wish to create something else. Nonetheless, it is the process of imagining, and producing that is incredibly self fulfilling. I have been painting and drawing like it's nobody's business. While doing so I blast tunes and really enjoy the time by myself. When I lose myself in a work, I seem to be closer to finding myself.


Worship something.

I am a Mormon as most people know. Whatever your faith, or lack of faith, I think it is important to believe in something, and believe in it fervently. No halfway, lukewarm sentiments for me. Life is too short. Be passionate. I am passionate about my religion. I am passionate about social justice issues. Find a cause, a purpose, a reason to exist and contribute and do it to the best of your abilities.


Treat yourself.

Take yourself out on dates. I started doing this and it was weird for me to do things on my own at first, but it became a rewarding tradition that made me better on my own, but also I think, in the company of others. I visited a classical Chinese garden, ate at some of my favourite restaurants, found the best macaron in the city, went on walks, got lost in museums, and conversed with strangers. It is a wonderful feeling to realize that if you want to turn left, you can do so. If you hate the exhibit you can leave. If you want to spend five hours staring at one painting you may. You don't need others to do what you want to do today.


Take risks.

These can be big or small. Talk to a stranger or try love again. Buy the bright purple or decide to go back to school. Whatever the risk, making informed decisions from a place of faith rather than fear, can help you to discover your strengths, new likes and opportunities.


Travel.

If you haven't already noticed the pattern, let me spell it out for you: exposure, exposure exposure! Being exposed to new ideas, experiences, places, people, feelings, etc. is the way to find yourself and grow. Traveling is a compact experience to do just this. Wanderlust is good for the soul.


Volunteer.

Sometimes you will truly discover who you are, by losing yourself in the service of others. You also have the opportunity to try things people wouldn't consider you skilled enough to do and get paid for. For example as a volunteer you can network with communities, take care of people, animals, or places, and administrate in ways your usual daily routine may not allow.


Get a routine, then break a routine.

So first key is to give your life a sense of purpose! You would be amazed at how much you can fit into your day if you plan ahead. Planning a routine helps you find yourself because you can explicitly write down your priorities, and switch them up or around if they aren't working for you. Once you have a routine, then you can learn to break it. How are you spending you day? Does this reflect who you think you are? Does this reflect who you want to be? Plan a new routine. Just try to live your day with purpose.

What are ways you try to find yourself? Comment below!

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© Miss Lauren Kyle
Maira Gall