No matter where you go, you take yourself with you. Is that thought encouraging or dismaying?
I know I’ve been disappointed in the past when a chance for a fresh start didn’t turn me into someone I liked better. I’m also learning to recognize the hope and potential that comes with always being with myself.
How often do we try to leave our problems behind? There are many ways we do this. We change jobs. We end the relationship. We move across the country. We let the friendship fade. We look for opportunities to reinvent ourselves.
We change our outside circumstances, hoping that if we just find the right place, the right situation, or the right people, then everything will be better. So often what we actually find is that the same issues keep popping up .
It’s helpful to realize that many of the things we try to run from will be with us wherever we go until we’re willing to stop and face them. It can also feel a little discouraging.
Wherever you go, there you are. We often say this with a resigned sigh, but what if it was a good thing?
For one, those things that keep showing up—that’s where the work is. That is where there is so much possibility for transformation when we’re willing to stay and look and create something better.
You know what else is true? It’s not just our flaws or our unresolved issues that are with us wherever we go.
The very best parts of ourselves are always with us too.
It’s interesting to notice that the times I feel most myself are also the times I like myself the best.
At those times I feel calm and capable. I trust myself. I listen well and speak with kindness and confidence . I feel alive, energized, and filled with love. I am someone I want to be.
And yet, after the fact, I’m quick to dismiss those moments as an anomaly. I assume that somehow, for a little while, I was able to be better than I really am.
I focus more on the times I didn’t show up as who I want to be—times when I hid my opinions, spoke harshly, failed to follow through, or gave up without even trying.
Those things are there in me too, but they’re not the whole story. We can be quick to define ourselves by our worst qualities rather than our best. We tend to be more practiced at looking at what’s wrong than looking for what’s right.
But our best parts are still us, even if they’re not how we always show up. Just because they sometimes get covered up by the ways we protect ourselves or other habitual ways of being, doesn’t mean they’re not there.
We may not be able to escape life’s challenges or outrun the parts of ourselves that we don’t like, but, likewise, our strengths don’t disappear when our circumstances change. Everything that is good, true, wise, creative, capable, beautiful, and loving in you…is always in you, even when you have a hard time seeing it.
Questions to Consider:
What has been following you around? What might happen if you faced it?
What are you grateful to carry with you wherever you go?
What is a quality or characteristic that you want to be part of who you are?
Have you ever embodied that quality, even for a moment?
What changes if you stop thinking of that quality as something you wish you could be and start thinking of it as a part of you that you can call on and strengthen?
What is possible when you know the best parts of you are with you wherever you go?