Have you ever had one of those moments when you suddenly learn something new and shocking about yourself and this makes you think, "Do I even know myself at all?"
I sure do.
In fact, while I used to assume I would gradually get to know myself better and better as I got older and older, as I am actually getting older I am finding - oddly - the reverse seems more true.
The older I get, the stranger I seem to myself. I will do something and then think, "Why did I just do that?" Or I will think something and then wonder, "Why on earth do I think that way?"
Sometimes I lie in bed in the morning or evening and can't make heads or tails of myself or my life. There are days I think I'm washed up at (nearly) 48. Like, maybe this is it. This is me. This is my personality. This is my body. These are my genes. This is my life. It is set. I've tried to change and I just can't.
And it all seems so mysterious, especially from the gal whose governing motto in life often appears to to be, "Well, how hard could it be? I'll just go ahead and try it and see."
But this really only applies if that opportunity even knocks. Some opportunities - the same ones that frequently appear to come so readily into other people's lives - have never even passed by my door, let alone taken the time to walk all the way up the front walkway and knock!
And I wonder about that, too. Am I doing something wrong? Am I being someone wrong, that this thing or experience or feeling I so want remains so elusive?
I would have loved to title this blog post, "What to do when you don't know who you are." But I have no idea. So I can't write that blog post - at least not yet.
All I know to do at this point is to keep asking the questions, ad nauseam if I have to, to keep reminding myself not to go outside into comparisons with others but to go inside into conversations with myself, to keep waking up and staying curious and open and interested in getting to know this being inside my skin, the one who is using my name, wearing my clothes and living my life with or without my permission or approval.
For those of you who have been popping in here regularly over the years, you know Don Miguel Ruiz is one of my absolute favorite teachers and mentors. Recently and with great excitement I started reading his newest book. It is called "The Three Questions."
So far I've only read the first chapter and I've already had the book for three weeks. This is because that first chapter is so profound I am stuck there, still reading and re-reading his words about how everything - absolutely EVERYTHING - in our life is a story.
In that first chapter, he talks briefly yet at profound depth about how we get so good at crafting and then telling and re-telling the stories of our lives. We get so good at it that we get stuck there, like to the point we should put it on our resume as a marketable skill, because we have honed the stories we tell and how we tell them to a fine art.