As this new year begins, one thing I’d like to suggest you gift yourself is a stronger sense of you.
A Society Searching for an External Cure
In our culture, we tend to live our lives in a very functional way. We prioritize what needs to get done and what is happening outside of us over what happens within us. For example:
- When we’re anxious about money we check our bank accounts far more frequently than we check our feelings.
- When we’re anxious about a relationship, we check our cell phones far more often than checking in with ourselves.
Instead of turning within to care for ourselves, we are often quick to search for an external cure.
And while I’m supportive of us finding external cures to our problems, we often neglect what lies within throughout the process—ourselves and our feelings.
We learn about how to try to fix things by changing the world around us and forget how to fix things by changing the world inside of us.
As we get caught up in the external busyness of our lives, we become whatever our lives make us instead of making our lives in the image of who we truly are.
The Result of External Distractions
Somewhere along the way, life—in its constant taking us away from ourselves through emails, texts, and Facebook—keeps distracting us from a sense of contact with who we really are. Over time, we lose contact with ourselves. Over time, we start to worry that if we slow down, if we pause, we’ll feel lonely and have to face a loneliness in our lives.
Finding Internal Cures Through Your Emotions
But as we work through our fears, we can instead realize that when we slow down, what we really find is not loneliness, but:
- sadness and joy
- anger and celebration
- anxiety and excitement.
Most importantly, we find ourselves.
Freedom Through Reconnecting with Yourself
The more we live in touch with this part of ourselves, the more we truly become free. Free to live a life that is consistent with sharing all of who we are with ourselves and with one another. Free to live our lives, not the lives we’ve fallen into.
And I think this might very well be the best New Year’s gift of all.