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Getting to Know Yourself

    There are two ways of getting to know yourself. The first way is people see the brilliance within you and they reflect it back to you. In different ways they tell you what they see when they see you. They encourage you to pursue your interests and desires. They gently point out your foibles and quirks. They hold you dear in the safety of their love. They show you how you shine, and you get to know.

    The second way is much different. Somehow you get separated from who you truly are and it hurts. We are all born with our essence planted deep within us. We carry an inner knowing of who we are. It�s like a bud waiting to burst open into a spectacular flower called you! But the bud can�t bloom on its own. It lies in wait for the nurturing it needs.

    It may be that you didn�t get the emotional nutrition you needed to help you grow into the singular and beautiful person you know you are meant to be. You may even have been fed poison and so the flower you�ve become looks a little more like a weed. The thing is, you know that�s the wrong plant. You know you�re supposed to be the magnificent orchid or the glorious rose.

    It may be that the bloom was nurtured and did open, but circumstances have caused you to wander away and leave it untended. Somehow or other, the true you has been left behind. The hurt you feel is your yearning for that lost person. To get back to yourself, you must look at your life with open eyes, and an open heart. Look with curiosity, not with contempt. You must not punish, but instead have compassion, for with compassion comes the ability to forgive. Go gently. Step carefully. Don�t force your way. Let the journey teach you, and find patience to let it unfold.

    It takes courage to see how you have been hurt by the distress and ignorance of others, by life�s disappointments and cruelties, and by yourself. It takes humility to see that you have participated in relationships in ways that were wounding. It takes faith to believe that by looking you will learn what nurtures the bud and what makes it wither.

    You will find a wondrous thing happens on this journey back. As you move closer to yourself, you will draw more and more of what strengthens and sustains you into your life. You will turn away that which does not. Your relationships will transform and become healing. It is this gradual process of reconnection that takes you to that lost person who has been waiting for you.

    During this journey, the people in your life will still keep reflecting what they see when they see you. As you connect to who you are and get to know yourself, you can begin to see whether the reflections are accurate or distorted. From the same place within you where you found courage and humility, you will find grace to accept the accurate, and strength to disregard the distorted. Each time you do, you affirm the person you�ve gotten to know. The true you.

    � Sally Scott, M.A., R.C.C.