Have you ever heard someone say that they need to find themselves or lost themselves? What happens when we feel like this and what makes us say this? It has to be some sort of misalignment with our ideals and the way we would like to experience life and the world. Does finding ourselves mean we have strayed from our beliefs, that we have lost our true self and behaved out of line? Why and what caused it?
I think we all get conditioned going through life. Conditioned on how one is to behave, and what is expected. We are introduced to the beliefs of others, their values and concepts, especially growing up, but those guidelines don’t always fit us. Still we go along, out of respect, because we don’t initially know better and because we are taught to comply. It seems incomprehensible that other opinions exist or matter, or that we should dare to disagree. Growing up is matter of respecting your parents and what is being taught, while as an adult we often face the fear of not fitting in, not being accepted. All these conditions eventually lead to a feeling of loss, having lost, feeling lost and having to find yourself again.
I found a cool theory from Emily McDowell addressing this very issue. She says that finding yourself is not really how it works. You aren’t a ten dollar bill in last winters coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other peoples opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. Finding yourself is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an excavation, a remembering of who you were before the world got its hand on you.