Who are you? How would you answer that? A police officer? A hairdresser? An executive? A rigger?
We all tend to define ourselves by the positions we hold in our careers. Is that really who you are? Is that what characterizes you?
Of course not. We all know we are much more than that. But how much more?
Have you ever asked yourself what values you hold, or think you hold that perhaps you have let go of? What potential do you have that perhaps you are not fulfilling?
What happiness have you been letting slip by for whatever reason?
“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.”
This is an excerpt from a wonderful book called The Invitation, by Oriah. So many of us have become so caught up in life’s expectations, or rather the expectations we ourselves have manifested in our lives, that we have forgotten about our inner “dreamer.” That child inside each and every one of us that only remembers seeing the good. The excitement. The dream. Nothing was out of reach.
Well I ask you: where is that child now? Where is that child that would never think to judge another, that was so understanding and compassionate? That wanted to become the best? That really saw the world for what it is — a collective of beings just trying to ultimately achieve the same thing: happiness. Well are you there yet?
Have you ever asked yourself that maybe the way we’ve been going hasn’t really been the way to get there? That perhaps it’s not about working harder or longer, but maybe just going a little deeper? Maybe it’s not about finding the best job, or the nicest house or a better partner. Maybe it’s just about going inside and finding a better you! Maybe the real work should be on yourself. Being kinder. Being healthier.
Being more understanding. Being less judgmental. The Buddhists say that ultimate happiness can only be achieved by practicing compassion.
“If you want others to be happy, practise compassion. If you want to be happy, practise compassion,” the Dalai Lama said.
Exploring the depths of your self requires a certain kind of courage . . . the courage to really ask yourself not just what you want out of life but who do you want to be? And the answer you will find will always lead to being happy!.
The good news is the true you is already happy. All you need now is the courage to let it shine through.
And once you make the effort to be kinder, healthier, more understanding, you’ll be amazed at the beautiful things you can accomplish. The things that you will attract. It might just be that job, or that house, or that partner.
You might just start seeing yourself as more than your job title and maybe pick up that guitar you used to play, or go for that run you’ve been meaning to go for.
I challenge you to experiment with the potential that still lies inside you and go become more of who you really are. Go do those things you really want to do. Because really, the only person standing between you and your happiness is you.
Kristin Fraser, BSc, is a local freelance columnist. She can be reached at email@example.com