I often wonder, in the middle of the night sometimes, about what it is that I want. What makes me self-reflect so much, search and question so many things? And why that once upon a time merely a practical, simple question, used to help me make a decision, buy something, make a career choice, became a matter of pondering slightly deeper into this flesh and soul known to the outside world as Jelena.
Life has many ways of making us strive, desire, aim… but I am under the impression that lately I have been looking for the common denominator, the ultimate aim, aim above all aims, the life’s compass with the needle that never lets you down. That makes taking off, flying and landing anywhere you want feel like a piece of cake.
In search I read hundreds of books on the subject, I turned myself inside out, analyzed almost every square milimetre, every aspect of my being and came to the conclusion that everything comes back to, I wanted to say trust, trust, as a basic faith in myself, freedom from embedded beliefs of limitation, from the bondage of the restraining social and cultural norms and expectations. But then, literary minutes before I came back to writing, I listened to a podcast about personal authenticity. And needless to say, it changed my mind. It very simply pointed out that although we are all different, unique in our own way, that does not make us necessarily authentic. Authenticity is not determined by the set of skills we posses, by body features, family background.. etc.. it rests merely on our ability to be comfortable with our set of uniqueness, and be, feel totally OK and safe being seen just the way we are by the whole world – mentally naked.
Yes, I found my ultimate aim without which self-trust wouldn’t be possible for me. What that would entail I am not completely sure, but I know that it will keep me accountable for what I say and do, make me tip on the right side of decision-making if not all the time, but at least most of the time. It will make me question more things, but it will also allow me to stop chasing perfection and accept me the way I am: my past and present, the bad side of my profile, my tendency to compare myself with others, the fact that I love photography although I am not the best photographer in the world, my passion to dress nicely, my dislike of washing the dishes.. trust me the list is long..
And when you aim to live a life of personal authenticity, you give yourself permission to change and grow. Which made me think…
As I said, looking for answers led me to many books, blogs, authors. Some words deeply resonated with me, some not so much, some I found even misleading, which made me if not angry, at least disappointed. When you search for something you are in unknown territory and everything you discover along the way is potentially true, you tend to trust your new discovery at least until it’s proven wrong. Finding out that certain “truths ” were not yours at all, can easily leave you frustrated, feeling like someone wasted your time and trust. But then, learning things in any subject has that beautiful effect of correcting mistakes and misunderstandings in our own knowledge. What I once thought was right is not the case any more. When I truly understood this, I also understood that no one was trying to mislead me, that was simply their truth, their knowledge and understanding at the time. It was up to me, my choice to accept it, trust it or test it. It is always my choice to either rely on others people opinion or make my own.
So please treat whatever I write on these pages the same way. It’s only my view and it’s my view on the subject at the moment (I changed my mind while I was writing it). It represents a small document of my finding-out journey, learning about things that occupy my mind.
Authenticity sounds like a damn good tool for keeping me in check on this voyage.