The Power of Joy
The Journey of Self-Discovery
“I’ll put your poop on the mailbox for you,” is not something I thought I would ever say to anyone, let alone my husband. But after nearly thirty years of marriage, I guess we have said pretty much everything there is to say to each other. Now, this particular day, it wasn’t exactly HIS poop I was talking about, it was one of the dogs. See when we walk in the morning, we each take a dog and then we each end up adding a bag of poop by the time we get home. This particular day, we decided to pass the house and keep going, so why keep carrying the poop? Hence, the bizarre statement.
We will be married 30 years in December. I’m sure we’ll pull out our wedding video and laugh at those impossibly young people we see on the screen who have no idea what marriage is all about. How well did we really know each other back then? And maybe more importantly, did we even know ourselves? Do we now? All of this has me thinking about the incredible importance of really knowing ourselves fully so that we can truly love others without filters or baggage or impossible expectations.
At The Wisdom Coalition, we do a lot of work into this idea of turning inward and getting to know who we really are at our core for ourselves, but also for those we love and those who love us. Anyone who has been in a long-term relationship of any kind knows it takes an openness and a sacredness to be both vulnerable and supportive at the same time. It seems you can’t give yourself away to someone else if you are a stranger to yourself. This contemplative practice is one of the most difficult yet rewarding things I think we do in our work together. To be honest, I’m still trying to figure it out, but I’m excited at the prospect of more self-knowledge every day and every time we explore this subject.
It seems there is always something to learn about who we are, what makes us tick, what makes us freak out and, most importantly, why. And the crazy thing is it is always changing. It’s a never-ending, evolving process that we are honored to guide you through while we ourselves navigate our own journeys of self-discovery.
The Power of Why
Philosophers and social scientists have theorized for centuries about the process through which we create our identity. Although their theories vary, they all agree that our personal identity gives each of us an integrated and cohesive sense of self. Some believe that this sense of self is “imprinted” on us as a result of evolution and remains constant throughout our lives, while others believe that our identity constantly changes due to new experiences and information we acquire in our daily interactions with others. This is the age old “nature versus nurture” argument.
Regardless of the source, experts agree that our sense of personal identity guides our actions, beliefs, and behaviors in our everyday lives. And our actions, beliefs and behaviors greatly impact our interpersonal relationships (our relationships with others) and our intrapersonal relationship (our relationship with ourselves.)
Research shows that the way we feel about ourselves dictates the way we treat ourselves, the way we treat others, and the way we allow others to treat us. For this reason, it’s important that we take time out for self-discovery and self-love practices. This means taking off our “masks” and finding out who we really are, what makes us tick, and what’s most important to us in life.
We talk a lot at The Wisdom Coalition about the importance of knowing and loving ourselves. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, self-actualization is the ultimate goal of our human existence. Maslow states that self-actualized people have an acceptance of who they are despite their faults and limitations. In other words, they connect with, accept and love themselves "as is!" This is a lofty goal that takes time, intention and practice. But the rewards are endless!