Self-realization in the age of self-realization
26. maj 2019
Self–realization is an expression used in Western psychology, philosophy, and spirituality; and in Indian religions. In the Western understanding it is the “fulfillment by oneself of the possibilities of one’s character or personality.” Our good friend, Wikipedia.
Over the past few months I have found myself dabbling with the questions of: Who am I? Who do I wish to be? Where am I going? And by dabbling I mean absolutely desperately spending every waken hour on those or similar questions. Like a chilled out grown up. These seemingly vital questions have led me to search for answers via meditation, yoga, therapy, alternative treatments, a general embracing of spirituality. And then looking through social media to compare myself to everyone else, who are seemingly much better at this finding your true self and the right path.
Everything except that last one has been of big help to me, and I am growing everyday on what feels like is a very exciting journey. The last part? Not so much. At this point it feels like we (should) have learned that any comparison of one self to anything on social media is a bad move. A bad move that leaves us reaching for the skinny tea and how to facetune manual. But I must admit, it came as a surprise to me just how much comparing myself to other’s self-realization journey has affected me.
Which leaves med with the question: Should one of the first steps on my self-realization journey be to work on my self-image, so I am not so fucking compelled to keep comparing myself to others?
The journey is an important one. One that shouldn’t be influenced by a feeling of doing it wrong or worse than everyone else. It is an extremely personal trip that unfolds differently for everyone. As is should. So why am I so caught up in everyone else’s growth business? Why does it matter to me, whether others are finding answers to their questions and I am not? See, more questions. This never fucking stops.
I think it is due to the fact that self-realization and personal growth has become yet another thing I use to measure success. And in continuation hereof: A way to judge myself compared to others. I am not truly successful before I am working with that one thing that is my true purpose. I am not truly successful before I have found inner peace. I am not successful until I am really happy. Or at least that is what I am telling myself, when I scroll through Instagram.
And what a twisted way of viewing something so amazingly pure: A journey to find joy. Another beautiful thing a millennial has chosen to destroy with online angst. When I am the best version of myself (i.e fed, rested and in bed watching Netflix) I am inspired by the journey of others and beyond happy for them. And that is how it should be. But on my bad days, it can be extremely hard coping with stories and posts about people living their best, most fulfilled life. When I might not be entirely there (even though I have a pretty awesome life).
And I am kind of embarrassed about that.
Because the journey of others does not take away from mine, and therefore should not influence me in a negative way. Actually it should be a gentle reminder that it is in fact possible to get to where I dream to be. I think these thoughts are a manifestation of what is key in my journey: To look inside instead of outside and stop evaluating myself through the successes of others. I want to be inspired by others when they reach their goals. I want to follow the journey of someone quitting their job and moving to the country side to grow strawberries. I want to get guidance from those women who have done the work before me and are now closer to answers. Without hitting myself over the head for not being there yet. I want to be able to stop being so damn hard on myself and calm down. What is the hurry?
Well, I guess it is all part of the journey.