stop slackin' & get crackin'
the definition of happiness

getting to know you

 

Lifeisbeautiful
 

Sophia Bush once said, "To be happy it first takes being comfortable in your own shoes. The rest can work up from there." You really have to be happy with yourself before you can be happy with anyone or anything else. And what better way to be comfortable with yourself than to spend time with yourself! We all take ourselves for granted, spending very little time alone (unless, of course, you're a loner like myself who makes a point to have at least some alone time each day). Whether we avoid being alone because we are scared to get to know ourselves or we can't seem to find a moment to ourselves, when we don't take time to enjoy ourselves, to really learn about who we are, we miss out on an extremely positive experience that can enrich not only our lives but the lives of those around us.

One of my favorite songs, Melissa Ferrick's "Other Side" goes something like this:

 

Like electricity scattered
I don't know what I want
To have come this far
To just go back again
To have been loved so much
To actually want to love again

But I forget to ask myself,
"Hey, what do I want to do?"
I forget to check in
See, the devil's got my hand
And I've been out here wandering this whole time
Pretending I've got me a grand plan

But I told you...

I don't know what I'm doing
It's like I'm just drifting out
The current's got my body
But I'm too tired to swim or shout
I can see you waving at the shoreline
You're calling me home
But the biggest part of me knows
That I need to be out here alone

Floating out here
Waiting for the moon to push the tide
Floating out here
Waiting for the ocean to carry me
To the other side
Get me to the other side

I'm forcing inspiration
Out of fear that I'll never write again
But I'm out here giving away
More than my body can
Bluffing the whole table
Holding me a pair of threes

I'm dreaming drinking will fix me
Thinking sleeping with you is gonna free me,
That my smoking won't kill me
And, in the meantime,
Look at life out there, happening

 

I don't know what I'm doing
It's like I'm just drifting out
The current's got my body
But I'm too tired to swim or shout
I can see you waving at the shoreline
You're calling me home
But the biggest part of me knows
That I need to be out here alone

Floating out here
Waiting for the moon to push the tide
Floating out here
Waiting for the ocean to carry me
To the other side
Get me to the other side

 

I love this song. I find it so inspiring when thinking about spending time with myself, just trying to figure myself out. It also really makes me think about all of the things we try to do to deal with things (smoking, drinking, sleeping with people we shouldn't) instead of just thinking. Thinking is hard. Thinking about yourself is even harder. In this song, Ferrick asks the big question, "What do I want to do?" In order to figure that out, I think it's absolutely necessary to spend time with yourself, without the distractions of others, and really get to know yourself. Be comfortable with yourself. Know what you want and what you're about. If you do this, you'll find that everything else comes much easier. You won't need to escape your thoughts and feelings. You will know them, accept them, and be comfortable with them.

When you know yourself and are happy with yourself, everything around you has a more positive glow. You don't need to rely on others, situations, or things for your happiness. You are your happiness. When you're happy with who you are -- or, if you are even aware of who you are and aren't 100% happy with that person -- you can identify with others better. You can find a place of contentment that most people spend their lives searching for.

I can't say with certainty that I know what Ferrick is referring to when she writes about the "Other Side" (though I'd love to have an opportunity to ask her!), I like to think of the other side as a place of acceptance, of knowing yourself. In order to figure out who you are and what you want in life, you have to spend some time alone. You have to take the time, floating out there alone with your own thoughts, to figure it out. Whether it's on a daily or a weekly or even a monthly basis, take time to check in with yourself. Take time to get to know who you are.

Here's a list of activities that I've found helpful in getting to know myself:

 

  • Indulging in a long, warm bubble bath with NO distractions
  • Getting a full-body massage and facial at the local spa
  • Reading books on my Kindle about personal development
  • Purchasing a large canvas and paints and getting creative
  • Sitting on a park bench in the sunshine with a great novel
  • Researching new and interesting topics or ideas online
  • Taking long walks with my dog while listening to my favorite tunes
  • Driving a great distance alone with only music and my thoughts

 

Getting to know yourself isn't easy. Over the past six months or so, I've really put a lot of time and effort into trying to figure myself out. Overall, it's been a painful process. I've learned things about myself and my past that I wish I didn't have to deal with. But getting to know myself, even the parts I don't like knowing about, has made me such a stronger person. I don't think I'm quite to the other side yet. I don't think I've reached a place of full acceptance. But I'm getting there. I'm out here, floating and doing my best to figure myself out.

Comments

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I'm going to buy a big bottle of bubble bath today! ; )
For me, one of the most difficult things about having children is that I'm rarely alone. And I'm a person who NEEDS to be alone! For the last year, I've been enforcing a 1-hour nap time, and I've explained to my 5-year old that even if he doesn't nap, Mommy needs a break, too. (I think he might be starting to get it...)

As an introvert, I spend many many hours to myself, becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin, and treating myself to life's little pleasures. I absolutely love hot bubble baths. A full body massage combined with this sounds like heaven on earth.

Purchasing a canvas is one tip I haven't thought of, but it's genius! I wonder if these are expensive? Great post.

(Thank you for commenting on my most recent post as well.)

Nice site! I like your honesty and the way you embrace life as it is. And thanks for visiting Diamond-Cut Life and adding your two cents there.
best,
Alison

I agree that getting to know ourselves is so important, and so neglected, and that many of our problems stem from our spirit trying to communicate with us. Thanks for addressing this crucial and timely subject.

that's a very good post. Soul searching is always very positive and brings out what you need to fix in your life.

Some of my favourite actitivities include taking long walks, watching movies, and reading by myself. I like travelling alone too, particularly to cities with excellent museums.

Lisa - Thanks for the tips. The idea of traveling alone sounds great. I bet you can do a lot of soul-searching that way.

Miku - Thanks for stopping by. Soul-searching can definitely be a positive activity, but it can also be really painful sometimes. We just have to keep in mind that we can learn a lot from ourselves -- and we're a lot stronger than we realize.

Acooba - You're welcome. If we all spent a little more time listening to ourselves, we would find a great deal of happiness.

Alison - Thanks! I'm glad you enjoy the site!

Brittany - Canvases can definitely be expensive, but you can find sales on them at major art stores or buy a few little ones. Thanks for your comments.

I love this post! I decided that I had a "quarter life crisis" last month and since have been trying to figure myself out. I am even planning a loooong trip overseas to "get away from it all" and just discover...anything haha. Thanks for this post and the activities you listed are all great ideas! All the best!

Renee

Renee - I definitely went through/am still going through a quarter life crisis myself. Working on this blog and focusing on positivity in the present moment has definitely helped me to deal with a lot of the things happening in my life. Feel free to pass along the link to all of the new friends I'm sure you'll make on your travels! :)

Hey PP,

Great post and definitely so true about learning about yourself and being comfortable with who you are! I love going for long drives and sometimes I switch of the music and just think...it's my best meditation times! ;-)

x

Amit - Long drives (with great tunes) are an excellent way to get to know yourself. I've definitely done that too. PS - I like the nickname "PP" - cute!

This post really spoke to me today. Life changes so often and I think we do forget to check in with ourselves to see how we have changed too.

Ali - I 100% agree with you. So often we forget to check in with ourselves and it's really important.

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