by Jennifer McDougall
You’ve heard it said that everyone has an authentic self. But what does that mean? How can you find your true self if you don’t know where to look? Your true self is hidden deep down under all that pain and hurt. It’s like an eggshell protecting itself from the outside world until it feels safe enough to come out into the light of day.
You Have A True Self
If you’re reading this, likely, you are currently in a state of despair. You may feel like a shell of yourself, and your life might seem like an endless cycle of failure. You might feel worthless, hopeless, and alone—but guess what? YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Your True Self Hides When Your Heart Is Numb
You need to feel, not just think.
You need to be able to feel love and connection with others.
You need to be able to feel pain and sadness.
And you need to be able to feel joy and happiness.
Learning To Love And Trust Yourself
You can learn to do this by being your own best friend. When you love and trust yourself, you don’t need approval from anyone else. This gives you an inner strength that helps you confidently make decisions, even when they are unpopular or controversial.
Be kind to yourself. Give yourself time to heal when things go wrong rather than beating yourself up over it. Learn from your mistakes instead of trying to hide them or pretend they never happened.
The other skill that will help you recover is patience—with yourself and others. When something doesn’t go quite right, or the way that you had imagined it should go, instead of lashing out at other people who might be around at the time, take a deep breath and remind yourself that no one’s perfect; we all make mistakes from time to time.
Discovering What You Like and Dislike
You are not alone. You may feel like it sometimes, but you’re not.
Millions of people have gone through what you’re going through, and many have come out the other side to discover their true selves in this world. There is no shame in being one of those people—you can learn to love yourself again, even if it takes time and patience.
You can learn to trust yourself again, even if it takes more time and patience than most people think reasonable or logical.
You can forgive yourself for your past mistakes and find peace with past events and people so that they don’t continue weighing on your mind like a heavy weight every day for years at a time—or worse yet, your whole life! Of course, it’s easier said. Still, once you realize how much better life gets after these changes in mindset (and behavior), you will be much happier, healthier, and have a more positive outlook on life’s unfolding changes.
One of the most adventurous aspects of discovering your true self on your sober journey is learning what you like and dislike. Since drugs and alcohol distort our reality, many people who use and abuse these toxic substances don’t even know what they are genuinely interested in and what they don’t like at all. This is a great time to try new hobbies, such as a sport or something creative like crafting. Some people get sober and realize they aren’t extroverted after all; it was the drugs and alcohol flooding their brains, giving them false beliefs about themselves. You might find that when you get sober, you enjoy spending more time reading and writing rather than getting together with large groups of people and staying up late at night.
This could be an excellent opportunity to discover your true calling, skills that you’ve been gifted with, or a shift in personal style. Sobriety has a fun way of awakening our minds and spirits to be aware of things we genuinely enjoy without all the lies drugs and alcohol convince us of.
Finding Peace With Past Events and People
Finding peace with the past and certain people is also a big part of developing an authentic self.
You can start by forgiving yourself for your mistakes and others for theirs, since both you and they are human and make mistakes.
Then let go of the past because it’s over. Don’t worry about what could have been or regret things that happened in the past. You’ll feel lighter when you don’t have regrets weighing down on you all day! Something happened recently that might be bothering you; take time to write about it in your journal. Maybe it’s a conversation you need to have with a friend, family member, or co-worker regarding an issue that needs to be addressed so you can move on. We need to let go and move on so we can be happy ourselves without holding grudges towards others who don’t understand how we feel about things either.
A New Pathway Opens Up Before You
As you discover yourself and your true purpose, a new pathway opens up before you. Then, finally, you can achieve your goals and be happy.
This may mean attending a treatment center such as Passages to address the underlying conditions that have caused you to use and abuse drugs and alcohol. Immersing yourself in a holistic healing program has vast benefits that can help you peel back all the layers of trauma, pain, unresolved issues, and difficult situations you’re currently experiencing. Work with a professional addiction treatment specialist who can help you fully heal.
This transformational opportunity allows you to open yourself up to new and better ways of coping and growing so your brain can create new neurological pathways that, in turn, help you function properly as a healthy human being.
Just as a caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly, you can break out of your cocoon, dust yourself off and fly free.
So, you’re trapped in a cocoon. You don’t like who you are and want to break out of it, but that’s easier said than done. The longer you stay cocooned, the harder it will be for you to emerge from your shell as a butterfly with wings ready to take flight into the world.
You may have heard this: “As above, so below.” This means that what happens on Earth also happens in outer space; what happens inside our bodies also happens outside of ourselves. And just as a caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly, you can break out of your cocoon, dust yourself off and fly free!
This period is full of growth and change. Your true self will come out of hiding while someone else takes their place on the throne within your mind.
The main takeaway is that you can discover your true self by breaking out of your cocoon. You don’t need to depend on drugs and alcohol to find peace or happiness, but if you are still struggling with addiction, you must seek help from a professional. Remember that this journey will take time, and there will be ups and downs along the way. Remember what we discussed above about trusting yourself and loving others unconditionally? Everything else will fall into place eventually.
Also read: Goals You Should Set in Addiction Recovery