Strip Away the Shoulds
Often our identities contain at least some shards of shoulds. In other words, we strive to be what we think we should be. These shoulds may derive from society or our family and friends. I should like this. I should be that. I should behave in this way. I should say that. Who we are gets confused with and buried under the layers of who we think we should be. Strip away the shoulds, and think about who you really are. Simply ask, “Who am I?” You can start with statements like “I am a daughter” or “I am a writer” and progress to “I am happiest when I’m laughing with friends” or “I am learning to be kinder to myself.” This exercise can take many forms. If you’d like, write down whatever statements surface.