When I first heard the term “find myself,” I was intrigued. How does one lose one’s “self?” But, here were grown men and women deserting their spouse and children, going off into the sunset, seeking a new life in order to find themselves and, suddenly, it didn’t seem so intriguing; it just seemed selfish and self-absorbed.
It’s no surprise that we make different choices at different stages of our lives but, essentially, we’re still the same people. We may grow wiser or we may just grow older without acquiring the wisdom, but our true selves haven’t changed.
Our core values may change in accordance with our experiences and acquired knowledge but, still, we haven’t changed who we are. We may become more of who we were or we may develop different personality traits and different patterns of behavior that make us appear as if we have changed who we are, but underneath our shiny new selves, we haven’t really changed who we are.
A person may work very hard to change his destructive patterns of behavior and that hard work will pay off as his life becomes so much easier to manage because he’s developed new patterns of behavior. But, essentially, underneath everything, his true “self” is still there, waiting to be discovered.
We may get into different careers and develop different talents, but do we really need to leave our families to do this? It’s one thing if your marriage isn’t working out and you feel the necessity to get a divorce, but it’s an entirely different thing to leave your spouse and children in order to “find yourself.”
To my way of thinking, if you’re not satisfied with your life, change those aspects of your life until you are satisfied with them. And keep changing the aspects of your life that make you feel hemmed in, but don’t run out on your responsibilities. You can still “find yourself” while going through the process of changing the aspects of your “self” that are causing you unhappiness.
The “self” travels with you wherever you go. It may acquire new understandings of life; it may change your perspective of the life you’re leading, but it doesn’t change who you are underneath it all. And that’s a good thing because if you are true to yourself, you will never be lost and you will never need to go looking for your “self.” It’s been there all the while.