I sit here as always searching for the answers to the age old question “Who am I?” Where do I seek? Not where you would think I would find me, that is here, where I am. No I sometimes seek myself outside of me. What a strange illogical concept and act. Yet here is how I do it.
It starts innocently. You know, an email pops into my inbox. Next thing I am reading and come across a link. The link seems to be a worthwhile place to visit. Since it only takes a click of my mouse, well then why not? What harm is there in a quick look. So off I go to another new place in the depths of the internet. All the while I am sitting comfortably at my desk, mindful that I am still here.I get to a website and immediately see the professionalism, style, intrig uing and inviting graphics. Links and tabs call me to go further. The words seem to jump out of the screen and surround me with intoxicating trance-like messages. Slowly I begin to lose a sense of me and feel more of a sense of we.
Then it happens. I get sucked in. All the sudden I am down the rabbit hole and into a journey exploring and meandering my way further into the web. Where I go and what I do has no purpose. The only key to the door (well the hole) was my curiosity. Now I am lost, not sure how I will return. I am no longer even conscious of a return.
Instead, I run the gamut of emotions and find myself inspired one minute, sad the next, angry another. I collect thoughts and ideas until my head is almost exploding. Clearly this is enough for one person. Surely I was not meant to take in so much information in such a short period of time.
But no, I keep going. I need an answer to my question. Who am I?
The comparison trap
Then something else happens. I find I not only lose a sense of myself I forget about me. My brain is caught up in what other people say. Other people’s websites look better than mine. This person says something I wish I could say but don’t know how. Another person seems to have created a pictorial display expressing exactly how I see the world, but it is not coming from me.
The deficit gets attention. I feel inferior. I feel worthless.
The words begin to do their job and invite me to get better. Yes I can find the answer to me by going to one of the programs advertised. Perhaps I could buy the book, get the product, join the club, be a member, pay the introductory rate. Everything offered is the answer. I will get the answer to my question from one of these solutions. Why? Well they tell me so. Everyone promises so much. The testimonials (well at least the ones from their friends) tell me so.
So off I go, credit card in hand, to find the answer. Soon more emails pile into my inbox in answer of my question. Only instead I feel as if I am being pulled into another hole.
How does it happen? How do I let myself lose the sense of me and be pulled into a sense of not me?
This happens because I am weak. Yes I am being honest. In this moment when I lose the sense of me I am weak. I am completely unconscious, not thinking nor connecting to the inner me. The inner me has no voice, not even a presence. Instead it’s my outer me, the one that wants to figure everything out and get it all right.
Mirror reflects me
Then it happens. I find a mirror. Yes a mirror to reflect back to me who I am in this moment. This is not the authentic me. This is the desperate me trying to be someone I am not. This is me living in the past or the future and not accepting where I am in the present. It takes a generous and authentic soul, person, business to show me this insight. A rare find indeed.
So with this newly found awareness I gain some clarity and focus. Instead of meandering, randomly through unhelpful and irrelevant places I focus. Yes I stop, pause and decide exactly what I am looking for to help me right now.
As I wander back I see each place visited in their naked truth. Some are honest and open, others cloaked in carefully crafted marketing. It is empowering to know that the choice remains with me. Yes it is up to me what I choose to read, take in, engage, explore, buy or refer. This choice also reflects where I am at this exact moment. What appealed to my needs two months ago does not necessarily suit now.
So I stop, pause, and take a deep breath. To pull me out of this hole I accept me as I am right now. Then another question emerges. I ask myself “Who do I want to be in the future?” “What is the vision of me”
The exploration just experienced now takes on a different level of meaning. Rather than being a comparison this trip becomes a series of what if scenarios. I just played out a game of imagination. These virtual places of information prodded and prompted me to get clear and know what matters. The words and images pushed me to a reaction that either propelled me forward or took me back.
For the ones that propelled me forward I gained a sense of possibility, a sense of maybe. For the ones that took me back, well I realized that I do not have to go there anymore. It is up to me.
So whilst online exploration can at times seem distracting, in the end every experience feeds your self-discovery and exploration. Success with either is dependent on how conscious and aware you remain throughout the process. Given enough time you may not find the answer to the question “Who am I?” but you sure will have ideas of where you want to go on your journey.
Let's go there...