So often we get so caught up in the chaos of life, the expectations of those around us, and the need to belong that we stop listening and hearing ourselves. And the result is often that we lose ourselves.
But if we can embrace the power of the pause in our lives, we can reconnect with ourselves, get to know ourselves better, and start to hear the voice within us that leads us into our fullest, most authentic, and most courageous lives.
This week the EvoFaith Podcast invites you to pause and listen to yourself. You’ll be so glad you did!
WE ARE ALL LOST
There’s an experience that I believe is almost universal among human beings—even though many may not realise what they’re going through. It’s the experience of losing ourselves in the chaos of life, relationships, roles, work, and expectations. We become so caught up in trying to be what we need to be to survive or succeed, to make our loved ones happy, or to belong that we hide ourselves. Over time, piece by piece we cut away the parts of ourselves that don’t fit into the lives we’re creating for ourselves. Eventually more and more of these parts get lost until we no longer recognise ourselves. Some of us may never actually realise that we’ve lost ourselves. Others of us feel only the nameless sense that something is missing in us. And some of us know that we’ve lost ourselves but we don’t know how to change it and find ourselves again.
Now I know that this whole idea of losing and trying to find ourselves is the source of many jokes. Maybe you’re already rolling your eyes. But stay with me for a while. Often these memes and jokes and stereotypes are just oversimplifications of something real that we all experience. Maybe that’s why they started in the first place and why they’re so darn funny—it’s because we all know what it feels like. It’s a common experience—but we’re all a little embarrassed by it and so we laugh at it to pretend it’s not a big deal. But what if it is a big deal? What if it touches on something deep and important about who we are? I believe it does. And I believe that it also impacts the small daily details in our lives in significant ways.
WE ARE ALL DIVIDED IN OURSELVES
Throughout the month of February, I’ve been talking about the power of the pause. I’ve spoken about how a consistent practice of pausing can help us to bring our best, most present selves into the various facets and experiences of our lives. And I’ve explored how the pause can help us to stop the domino effect in our lives and create space between what happens to us and how we react or respond.
But the pause isn’t just about taking a moment here and there to respond more mindfully. It’s about bringing mindfulness, intentionality, authenticity, and being fully present into our whole lives. And that’s not something we can do when we feel lost.
As the philosopher and psychologist William James noted, we all know a sense of dividedness within us. We know the person we are and we have an image duo the person we imagine we could be—the better self we long to be. But there’s a gap, a divide between who we are and our better selves. But it’s scary and vulnerable to admit this dividedness, even to ourselves. And so we create an ‘acceptable self’ that will fit in, help us belong, and keep us safe among others. And we hide that best self, that self we long to be. But it doesn’t go away. And most of us know the deep ache to listen to the call of that more authentic self and create a life that fits us, that feels authentic and fulfilling, and that can allow us to just be who we are.
WE ALL LONG FOR AN AUTHENTIC LIFE
I recently discovered the television show, Make it at Market, in which various creators are helped to turn their passions into viable businesses. It has amazed me to see all these people who have lived with a longing for a different, more authentic life. And it is always a joy to watch them begin to create the life they dream of and release the life they settled for. Perhaps I resonate with these stories so much, because that has been my journey too—it still is in many ways, but I am far enough on the road to know I can’t go back to the lostness I once knew.
So how do we keep ourselves from getting lost? How do we learn to live our most authentic and alive lives? It doesn’t have to mean making radical changes, quitting our jobs and setting off into the sunset. It doesn’t have to mean burning bridges or gambling with our livelihoods and relationships. Sometimes we may be moved to make some significant changes in our lives, but mostly it’s not about changing our outward circumstances so much as it is about changing ourselves. Because when we change the world within us, everything changes the world around us even if nothing changes.
So how do we make these inner changes that can help us to reconnect with our lost selves and live more authentically and vibrantly?
WE ALL NEED THE PAUSE
Quite simply, we can pause—regularly, consistently, and deliberately. We can slow down and start to truly listen to ourselves. We can take the time to get to know ourselves deeply and as objectively as possible. And we can begin to value our authentic selves more highly. And then, as we allow our true selves to have more space and presence in our lives, we will find that, in moments when things happen to us that we are tempted to react to, we can more easily and consistently pause, listen to ourselves, and respond more mindfully. And we can make sure we don’t lose ourselves in the process.
This is the power of the pause! And I invite you to nurture that power in your life.
In my free subscriber emails, I offer some clear and practical suggestions for slowing down, connecting with ourselves, and bringing our authentic selves into our lives and relationships. So if you want to go deeper in learning to hear and listen to yourself, feel free to head over to EvoFaith.com and sign up. And you’ll also receive my free eBook entitled Master Your World—A guide to changing the world around you by changing the world within you.
In the next episode, we’ll be expanding on this discussion about the power of the pause, and we’ll be looking specifically at living more slowly, deliberately, mindfully and fully. I look forward to sharing that conversation with you!
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