Blogpost, self-reliance

Define Yourself

If you look up any word in the dictionary, you will read a variety of other words that are used to represent that item, idea or whatever. So understanding that definition is dependent upon knowing the other words. It’s an odd kind of shell game. There are also other words that we feel like we know what they mean. But without a dictionary in hand, if we were asked for a definition, it would be a struggle to come up with one. We just know. Much like a dumbbell, there is a balance to be struck with the things that are dependent upon others in order to have meaning and things that just are.

High School Soccer from Senior Year
It may look foolish now but at the time, we LOVED these jerseys!

As human beings, we are often trying to make sense of things. We are looking for meaning in a largely random set of circumstances and characters. Sometimes we use the dictionary approach. Our meaning is dependent upon others. Things that could be easily represented to people. At times, the more intuitive route “feels” right. We do not know how to explain it but our decisions seem to have a cosmic GPS that we couldn’t really explain to someone else.

I’ve had both experiences and cannot say wholeheartedly that either is 100% correct. They each have their advantages and disadvantages. At a certain point though, you need to be you. Defining that completely externally is dangerous because it can end with losing yourself. The completely intuitive route can ignore vital information in favor of feelings that may be misguided. It would be a lot easier if we had a map but then we would lose the joy of “figuring it out.” Our lives are largely lived in duality. Too much certainty is boring and too much uncertainty is chaos, not fun.

At the moment, we’re going through a tough time. A lot of the paths that we believed were important are becoming less so. A deluge of readily available “information” has made us doubt ourselves on a variety of fronts from how we look to our health and well-being. Within all of this turmoil, each of us must try to define who we are. This is a constant process that requires a bit of thought and some trust that you’re going to get it right eventually. The definition of who you are is not showing up in a dictionary and thank god! You get to figure out who you want to be over and over again. Take the time to get to know you, so maybe you can define you.

None of this will be on the quiz!

Pete

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