One thing that will heal our self-image along the ebbs and flow of our self-discovery journey
As we search for our way through the process of self-discovery, there may be days firm ground seems hard to find. Shifts we go through while unraveling our true nature and potential will eventually leave us drained of our old selves, while our awakened core, perceived as the ˝new-self˝ has not yet fully risen to occasion, perhaps timid by the responsibility of taking over. I see this as a crisis of evolving identity.
A conversation I recently had with an acquaintance who was, until recently, a former professional basketball player, gave this void in a quest of purpose a more tangible frame. Imagine being a player for as long as you can remember, and then one day not being one anymore. As he shared, the experience is disorienting. Though he is happily married with a loving son, whom he is a great father too, he finds himself feeling lost, lacking a purpose, or something to shape his reality after.
I found his story familiar, though I am clear on my direction, and chasing my purpose while building a life I want to live, counting the obstacles as a part of that path. It comes with a price I am willing to pay, but not always quite prepared to face. There are times when I get stuck in that void where I am no longer the old me, but not quite sure if the new me can rise to the occasion. On days I feel estranged from myself, bared down to only the basics of my character. I feel vulnerable. And my ego resents that.
The construction of self we build over the years are usually designed to make us feel good about ourselves, to protect ourselves. It is a known fact that, even when we lack self-confidence we see ourselves as superior to how others see us. No matter how insecure, or humble we might be. We don`t necessarily see ourselves as superheroes, but we do tend to attribute ourselves with more goodness, honesty, intelligence, sense of humour, or other desirable traits, than those who know us would testify to. That`s how we cope.
So when we decide to make the effort to align with our purpose, we peal of those protective layers to let the light in, to lose some of the weight pulling us down, and this causes trauma for our ego. It gets confused, so it stops there, in the spot, looking for something other to hold on to. And inpatient to wait for your visons to manifest, it might start to reconstruct by building fences in that space in between, by adopting that void as its new reality. And that can be overwhelming.
To avoid falling down that rabbit hole, eventually, I began to act on my goals. No matter how big or far fetched some of them are, they all have one thing in common – a place to start from. That first, fifth, or twenty-seventh step – where ever you left off – that one thing to do on the given day, which will lead to the next thing and eventually to fulfilling that goal. So on my off days, I do the work and feed my ego with that superpower. Particularly if I was feeling stuck up until then, as a continuous drive is not my strong suit, I push myself an inch and in the eyes of my eager ego, it looks like a mile. And we are both happy. So my cure for a restless, threatened ego is – work. Ad a rock on the pile which will help you climb to become a person that your ego will feel inclined to let be, rather than protect.