I was catching up on one of my favourite yoga instructor’s blog when I came across an entry that really strike a chord with me. In her post titled “Embrace Who We Are“, she talked about the need for us to feel whole and embrace our unique & true self so that we may feel fulfillment in life. Now, take this moment and reflect upon your own life. What is it that truly makes you happy? Are you guilty of conforming to societal norms and sticking to the comfort zone, just because it is the easier thing to do even though your heart says otherwise? Like so many people out there, I will be the first to admit that I’m generally a people pleaser and I do seek comfort in external justification. Reassurance and approval from other people that I am either doing the “right thing” or am “on the right track in life”. Yet, despite the nod of approval from others, why is there still the sense of emptiness that lingers in my heart?
For those of you who have been following my blog for awhile, you would have known that I have been facing a self-proclaimed quarter-life crisis for some time now. On many occasions, I often assumed that this quarter-life crisis stems from a lack of true satisfaction in my job. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful for the learning opportunities that I have been given, the transferable and tangible skills that I have picked up through the years and the benefits that come along with it. But, half a decade of slogging through the drudgery of life – work. earn money. pay bills. work. earn money. pay bills. repeat. – does get to me. Was this the life that I am going to live for the rest of my life? And mind you, we aren’t even talking about bigger commitments such as housing loans and child support here. Yet, upon introspection, it suddenly hit me that the bigger picture lies in me. That I have not been able to fully embrace the true me because in times when I feel vulnerable or fearful, I tend to seek assurance from external parties. However, if we don’t feel that we are enough and worthy, no amount of external validation will do the job. We have to love ourselves and be true to our beings, in order to find more meaning and fulfillment in our lives.
As of late, I have been doing a lot more soul searching. Reflection through yoga. Reading inspirational true stories or blogs that resonate with me. Practice mindfulness. Those, along with the process of growing up and having a more mature outlook in life, have taught me to slowly accept and acknowledge that it is totally fine to be imperfect. To make mistakes. To have fears and weaknesses. To fail and fall apart. To be different. But, none of which should make me question my worthiness because, to quote Asami in her blog entry, that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.
These days, I won’t deny that I am quite contented with all that I have been blessed with. Of course, there are always other areas to work on. Honestly, if you ask me, I must confess that contentment and living life to the fullest will probably always remain a constant challenge. It’s alright though because that’s part and parcel of life and what that keeps me alive. By embracing who I am and accepting that I am not perfect, I’m making the choice to live a life I seek pleasure in, rather than to simply go with the ebb and flow of life. If that means wearing hand-me-downs instead of buying the latest trendy clothes, drinking fruit juice instead of alcohol during party nights (because I truly dislike the taste of alcohol), exploring hidden gems instead of hitting the malls in Orchard Road, I’ll do it because these are what that make me happy. A very good friend of mine has always reminded me to “Just Be Myself” and I’m truly grateful for these little reminders that keep me focused.
Many people I know from all walks of life – friends, colleagues, acquaintances and even blog readers – have shared with me that they often questioned their purpose in life. Inevitably, many equate the lack of fulfillment to their unsatisfactory jobs, lack of financial stability, non-existent love life, etc. But sometimes, we need to look deeper within ourselves to realise that it is possibly ourselves that we have to overcome. Take the moment to self-reflect, understand yourself better and embrace it wholeheartedly, the parts that you love and the parts that ain’t as great.