A life full of rediscovery

Maybe it’s my 20s, maybe it’s me, maybe it’s the fast-paced world we live in.

A trend I’ve been noticing with myself over the past year, and maybe this is due to me falling in love with self-development, is that I’m changing at increasing speeds as a person and human being.

It might be that I am intently becoming more self-aware and aware of the people and the world around me, which in turn offers me more enriched input, or it might be the increasing amounts of information about the world and its inhabitants that I’m consuming, or maybe a mix of both.

This time last year, I was a very very different person. Much less self-aware, much more arrogant, operating out of my expectations and perceptions of people, based on my limiting beliefs and limited knowledge of the world.

Nowadays, albeit I can honestly say the journey has only begun, I’m ever so slightly different.

I’m still the same talkative, hyperactive, curious, and oftentimes arrogant child.

Although happy to say the arrogant part is slowly shifting and making way for humility and peace of mind.

So, what changed?

I’ve always been a curious child.

Being smart and educated meant I would get love and attention I so craved as a child, so becoming the smartest and most educated meant I would be loved and valued. With this notion came an air of arrogance, and as you may know, arrogance is not the opposite of self-pity, it’s another form of it.

If you cannot value and accept yourself as a human being first, no amount of money, education, external validation will fix that.

Knowing that you are worthy of love and a place on this Earth, regardless of your achievements, is part of being Home.

Despite being more educated than others on certain topics, I was not thriving or allowing others to thrive in our relationships. Yes, I would be an interesting person to talk to, me being passionate helped with the intrigue, but I wasn't the most interested in others, and after a while what becomes important is how people feel around you.

To be interesting, be interested. — Dale Carnegie

If you pursue knowledge and self-development out of a desire to be interesting to others and to receive external validation, there will come a point where you will begin to blame not being smart enough for you not having friends. Or worse, you’ll blame others for your lack of a social circle.

Knowing that you’re not everyone’s cup of tea, and neither are they and being okay with that — is part of self-acceptance.

Knowing that you deserve love regardless of your levels of education is part of self-acceptance.

Knowing that you don’t need to be the smartest person in the world to be loved is part of self-acceptance.

More importantly, that love starts with you.

You can’t expect others to love and accept you before you do, simply because you won’t know what it looks like until you learn for yourself, through yourself.

Now, this is a very recent one, something around a month ago while reading Eckhart Tolle, it finally clicked that I was hurting myself more than anyone else by having expectations of the people around me and how my day to day interactions would go.

I would expect people to treat me with the same kindness I treated them, or I expected to be understood, even if I didn’t fully try to make myself clear.

I would expect people to say this or that and would get upset when they wouldn’t.

In hindsight, this might’ve been a gradual process. However, that day it felt like it finally clicked into place, and straight away I noticed my relationships improve, along with my overall satisfaction in life.

Sounds pretty grand, doesn’t it?

That’s because it was.

A big part of our lives is devoted to relationships.

Family, friends, significant others, colleagues, etc.

So when those relationships go sour or through rough patches, we are affected on a larger scale than we like to think, and a lot of those bumps come from us not getting what we want, which is where our expectations of others come in.

When you have no real expectations from others, aside from the base level of love and respect you should receive, you tend to feel calmer and more at ease, because really, you’re not playing mind games with yourself anymore.

Along with feeling happier, you begin to look at your relationships with a more sober point of view. You don’t hope for the person to do this or that to prove their love. You stop giving them the benefit of the doubt and start to see their actions towards you as for what they are.

Every single person has a very good reason for the way they act. That doesn’t mean you should accept anything less than what you deserve, which is unconditional love and acceptance.

You begin to see their actions for what they are — their idea of how much you deserve from them, and if those ideas don’t align, as in they are giving you less than you deserve, well, now might just be the time to kick them out of your life.

I did so with a toxic friend who, while I was hoping him to be better and see that I am worthy of his attention, was not having the same thoughts. I cut off all contact with him a month ago, and safe to say, I’ve begun to flourish more than ever before.

You can be a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously. — Sophia Bush

Not just my work, but myself, and to my surprise — the people around me.

I was not aware of this until a new-found friend pointed this out to me.

I met this person while working in a summer camp and her intelligence and compassion were exactly the fresh perspective I needed.

I realised I’ve been doing this subconsciously.

Viewing people through a lens of compassion and understanding, knowing that where they are now in life is not the final stop.

This mindset has helped me immensely when it comes to practicing compassion, towards others and myself.

2020, despite the trials and tribulations, has been my best year so far. The amount of rediscovery I’ve done for myself, of myself and the world around me, is unprecedented compared to years before.

And to be honest with you, I think this is only the beginning.

I don’t want to be able to recognise the person I am today in a year's time, not for a long time.

I don’t know how long this constant rediscovery is sustainable for, or if I can keep it up. My hope is — for the rest of my life on Earth, but as I’ve learned — no expectations is one of the keys to a happy life.

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