By Jayla Tuck
Society expects us to have a plan already established. Whether it's going to college or joining the military, the purpose is to have it all figured out. Well the truth is most of us don't have it all figured out and that sucks. But let's take a reality check for a moment. People spend most of their lives striving to live life the right way, instead of learning how to create a life right for them. I used to believe that not going to college resulted in me being a failure. Don't get me wrong, college is not favored by most people unless its necessary, but at least they know they're going somewhere. But I on the other hand, always thought it was wrong to feel as if college was a waste of time.
Most of our childhood consisted of being approved of in order to feel special or appreciated. We go about most of our lives seeking that same approval only to feel disappointed and exhausted. So let me give you the best and the most cliché advice in the book. Forget everyone! It's very cliché, I know. But it is advice many individuals don't apply that often. You see, there is no shortcut to life, but there's one principle that makes life more simple. We can never experience things completely unless it's authentic. The most inspiration comes from authenticity because anything authentic has the ability to grow and flourish naturally. When we continuously live through a facade shaped by false beliefs, that facade is only limited to those beliefs. And as much as we believe it's helping us, it's really hindering our potential to become something more. So how do I become more authentic, you may be asking. Well the answer to that question is self- awareness. Self-awareness is all in the process of being present. But being present is more than just achieving deep awareness. Which took a long time for me to understand as well.
It's important to have a sense of self. Not only does it mean you are your own person. But your sense of self embodies all of your core beliefs, values, and boundaries. Without these
components, it's very easy to become co-dependent towards people and situations that don't have your best interest at heart. So what is self-awareness? This my friend is being in alignment with yourself. There's so much beauty that comes with self-alignment. One being the detachment from other people's opinions, beliefs, and projections of who they think you are. There comes a point in people's lives where they would say "I don't care what you think of me, this is who is am and I love it." When you start to look within yourself, you realize there's a wide range of characteristics you didn't know you had. Some you will love and some you won't be too fond of. But self love is more than just loving who you are on the surface. It's about accepting those hidden parts of yourself that you felt weren't valued enough in the past. Having the ability to be vulnerable with yourself and to show compassion during those dark moments is the art of self love.
We all make mistakes and wrong decisions here and there, I know I have; but we are humans, which means acknowledging the fact that we have flaws pushes us in the right direction towards growth. Self-awareness invites us to look past that facade, the need for perfection, and more into the belief system we structured for ourselves. Our beliefs are the foundation to how we choose to live our life. The sad reality is many of our beliefs are created in a way that's acceptable in social culture. That's why individuals desire to attach to things, people and situations that bring a sense of worthiness.
Seeking worth from the physical world is conditional and often an escape from our true problems. Love that is internal is unconditional. So how can you start practicing self-awareness? My top two personal favorites are journaling and meditation; not only do these methods help clear the mind, but it brings focus towards your thoughts and emotions, which provides an understanding of your wants and needs. This is the key to start living life for yourself instead of living through others. This is the key to achieving inner peace, because when we stop chasing after the idea of acceptance, that's when we gain control of factors in our life that matter.
Written by Jayla Tuck
© Jayla Tuck
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