In my day, there was an awful lot of talk about finding yourself. There were gurus, self-help authors, life coaches. The overall consensus from these types was that you should avoid intimacy with the outside world until your “self” was found. Without having found yourself, there was a good chance you could be a danger to others or, at the very least, a nuisance.
So, what was finding yourself exactly?
Well, as far as I could gather, the first part of finding yourself was understanding yourself. Once you understood yourself, you had to learn to accept yourself. This, it was said, would finally lead to loving yourself.
That was the general process. I mean, I’m sure it was a bit more complicated than that, but it never stuck with me. I looked for myself (I did!)–vehemently for a time–but the only thing I ever found was that it was difficult to pay attention.
You see, there was a world on the outside of the self. I could feel its inertia skimming my toes, pulling beneath my sedentary feet.
I wanted to move with it, but I just couldn’t if I stared in to a mirror, or, worse, stared too extensively, too deeply, too inwardly.
I started doubting whether one could ever truly find him or herself. Weren’t we moving targets after all?
I don’t know. It was the spiritual panacea of the age, and maybe I dropped the ball.
To my contemporaries: Can we ever truly find ourselves? Are we useless to others until we do?