A few decades ago, scads of people searched in earnest to “find themselves”. The general public dismissed this as a lot of hippy hooey. How does it happen that “you” have wandered away such that travelling to relocate yourself is necessary? How do you recognize yourself when you get there? Will you be holding a sign with your name on it, like an airport driver?
These kinds of misinterpretations greeted the seekers and pushed them into the “we’re-not-sure-what-to-do-with-you” category, where at least they would all be together, less likely to stir up mischief among the “civilized” world.
But perhaps this movement was actually tapping into something truly integral to the human experience. The very thing Socrates described when he stated, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
It seems there are a lot of unexamined lives stumbling around these days, bumping into each other, and feeling very isolated from all the other stumbling bumpers. Many of these “lost” souls have turned to various addictions–drugs, alcohol, eating disorders–to avoid confirming their worst fear: “Deep down, I really am a terrible person, devoid of worth, not deserving of love.”
Meredith Watkins, Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Editor of RecoveryView.com states, “In my work with people suffering from addictions, what strikes me most is this lack of self-awareness and fear that their true identity is inherently flawed, beyond repair. Overcoming this belief and replacing it with a more accurate, positive and healthy one is sometimes the greatest challenge in our work–and the most important.”
Start to ask questions, such as “What things are really important to me and why?” What do I want? How would my life look if I believed differently? What you believe informs what you do. And your actions all have natural reactions or consequences that make up your experience of life. Isn’t that worth a closer look?
Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a Psychotherapist and Life Coach and author of “The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery” and Life Coach on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew on VH1.