It’s easy to lose yourself in the whirlwind of the holidays. Getting caught in the pressure of so much to do and so little time is common, particularly as each year seems to rush by even more quickly than the last one. The celebration of a new year is also a time for reflection, renewal and resolutions, so take a moment to ask yourself if, putting the holidays aside, you consistently feel that you lose yourself in the whirlwinds and/or chaos of the lives of others.
Let me first explain what I mean by the word “you”. We are all born with the same facial features — two eyes, two eyebrows, one nose, one mouth, one chin — yet each of us has a look that is uniquely our own. We may have features that are similar to those of another, but there is an identifiable look to the way each face is arranged. Thus one is recognized as having a specific identity, of having a name that goes with the face. Just as there is an identifiable look to the way each face is arranged, so is there a psychological identity based on your personality and emotional nature. The face and body that looks back from the mirror is your physical “you”. Your sense of “who” resides in that face and body is your psychological “you”. Combined, these two identities form your unique individuality, your sense of “self”.
Becoming disconnected to the “you” of your existence can be rooted in many different kinds of childhoods, including but not limited to, such issues as your assigned role in the family, your birth order, your parent’s emotional stability, patterns of addictions in the family, the goodness-of-fit between you and your environment, a dangerous level of competition among family members, family secrets and family myths, a family controlled by fear and so on. Any one of these issues, plus ones unique to your family, can result in a diminution of your unique individuality, your true “self”.
Start your gift to yourself by asking what kind of environment did you exist in as a child. You will find in The Light Side of the Moon: Reclaiming Your Lost Potential a guide to uncovering covert reasons for your true self to have needed to stay hidden and ways to regain the power of your individuality.
Derek Walcott, Nobel Prize poet, captured the essence of the gift of “you” in his poem Love After Love
The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
Peel your own image from the mirror to rediscover and reclaim your unique individuality. Clear the distorted messages of the past to allow yourself to gain what is your right – the right to be “you”.