No single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
There is a tendency in all of us to search for what we feel is missing in our sense of Self. Many of us have a concept of an idealized, perfected Self, which we set as our standard. We then spend our entire lives searching for ways to fill the emptiness of what is missing searching for happiness because we aren't happy, searching for beauty because we aren't beautiful, searching for freedom because we aren't free.
Yet we keep coming up short always flawed, always incomplete, never content with who we are.
The reason for this, is we are searching "out there" for a completed sense of Self in material things, superficial appearances, other human beings, careers, religion, and so on. And, sadly, none of these things can ever fulfill us completely. As long as we are focusing on them, we are distracted from facing ourselves. The emptiness is still there.
So what is the solution?
Let's shift our perspective a bit. Instead of starting from a space of "I'm not" or "I don't have", what if we begin with the understanding that what we are searching for already exists as a seed within us? Our work, then, becomes nurturing and nourishing that seed to grow into a mighty tree.
To make a tree grow, it is useless to go around searching for "tree-ness" to give to it.
You can't show it other trees and say, "Be like that!"
You can't show it birds and squirrels and say, "They're waiting for you! Hurry up and be a tree!"
You can't take it out of the ground, put it in a box, and say, "When you start growing, I'll reward you with earth and water and sunshine."
To make a tree grow, you have to plant the seed in fertile soil. You have to nourish it with water, sunshine and nutrients. You have to protect it from outside forces that can damage it. You have to stay committed to this over time. Only then can it become strong enough to stand on its own and be what it's meant to be.
And so it is with you.
You are not incomplete, and there is nothing you must search for. You only have the work of nurturing and developing those aspects of You that you feel driven to bring forth. They are already present within you.
Nurture them in the fertile soil of self-love, which comes from realizing the truth of who you are.
Nourish and protect them with quality time, loving acts, encouraging self-talk, and supportive relationships.
Remember that the work of becoming is a process, and it takes time. You must honor the process and you must honor yourself. Commit to yourself and the work of your development, the way you would commit to raising a mighty tree from a seed in the ground. No shortcuts, no quick fixes, no substitutions.
Just do the work.
And that search for the perfect You? Leave it behind you forever.