Here are some ways to start:
Question your thoughts. Ask why you are the way you are and what got you to this point. Reflect on your childhood and your relationship to your parents. Look at what you may have picked up from your past experiences, not with guilt or judgment, but with curiosity. Peel back the layers of societal programming to find the real You. It’s not lost, just buried.
Learn to meditate so you can develop the “observer mind”, where you can objectively observe your thoughts without being attached to them. “You” are not your thoughts. Just watch them float by while questioning their validity as well as where they may have stemmed from. You’ll probably be surprised by the response.
Follow the rabbit hole of your own mind, ever deepening the exploration to get to the root of who you actually are, beyond what you’ve been told. Question your ego who protects you from change and self-accountability. We are made up of the stories we tell ourselves, which we’ve simply picked up from other people projecting their own story onto us. Trauma is generational. So start re-writing you own chapter.
Read books and information from people who have already gone through the process. Follow your curiosity and take advantage of others’ life work available at our fingertips. Expand your mind. We become what we surround ourselves with. By learning to understand yourself and your experience better, it helps you to contextualize it in order to move forward. We can also only meet people as deeply as we’ve met ourselves, so by understanding yourself, you then deepen your compassion towards others..Allow yourself to feel your emotions. They’re all valid so let them out. Be brave enough to go into past heartache and loss and pain to release the heaviness that is weighing you down. Don’t be afraid to cry. But also have self-compassion. Imagine yourself as a little child and speak the way you would to them. You did the best you could at the time, and most of it was out of your control, so be gentle.
Spend more time in nature. Disconnect from technology and engage more with actual life. Breathe fresh air and feel the sun on your skin. Let the wind energize you and the forest give you roots. We’ve evolved with nature and I believe our disconnection from it is detrimental to our well-being. So by submersing ourselves more into it again, we can then start to come back into balance with life itself.
Take on a somatic, body-centred practice like yoga, meditation, stretching or breath work. Become familiar with the sensations of your body, for they are the key to understanding. Symptoms are your body’s way of talking to you, so slow down and learn how to listen. Tap into your intuition and trust that it will guide you.
Go to counseling and talk it out. Write down your thoughts. Express your feelings and open up to those closest to you. Admit that you need help, because as much as we try, we can’t do it alone. We’re all much more similar than we think, we just need to start having the more important conversations. We need to build deeper connections to combat shallow living.
But at the same time, take self-responsibility. Own your past, while investing time and energy into moving forward from it. Victim mentality is a dangerous trap. We can’t expect anyone to save us if we don’t want to save ourselves first. And as much as we believe that we can, we can’t actually change others, either. All we can do is be an example to follow, so focus your attention on becoming the best, most authentic version of yourself. Find what you love, what brings you joy and share it with the world. Support others to do the same. We all have something to offer, no matter how big or small. Investing in finding yourself isn’t selfish; it’s absolutely necessary.
Though we have all been dealt a different hand in life, ultimately it is our decision how we want to play it. Little steps over a long period of time will still get us to where we need to go. But it starts with us taking an active interest in becoming better as individuals. To recognize that we’re worth the effort and then committing to that process. We’re all responsible for the world we’re living in, so we need to take self-responsibility to move past the level of consciousness that helped create it in the first place. Our outer world is just a reflection of our inner one, so by changing ourselves, we’ll then create a more stable foundation to build our future on. And right now, I believe that having everyone do this work is more important than ever.