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Druidry - How Do You Know Yourself?

Druidry - How Do You Know Yourself?

‘Know Thyself’ was an instruction carved onto the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.

If you mean to leave a considered life and to act deliberately, this is an essential foundation. Of course who we are changes over time as we grow and learn. But how do we know who we really are? How do we find our authentic selves?

There are a great many different forces acting on each of us. We are each born into a specific family, informed by long ancestral lines. Our families exist in the context of the cultures that surround them. We grow up exposed to ideas about who we are and what we should aspire to. Adverts tell us what to want, politicians tell us what matters, employment demands conformity, fashion dictates our uniforms and so forth. 

It’s not easy to find your true self if you spend most of your time in situations where people are loud and clear about who you are supposed to be. It’s not easy to be authentic when economic pressures dominate how you spend your time. It is worth asking what you’d do differently if you had the financial freedom to do what you please, because that tends to be about what we most love and value.

It is possible to figure yourself out to some degree through the fine art of navel gazing. However, the more information you have to reflect on the more effective it is to ponder your own self. I don’t think the truth of who we are lies in what we think of ourselves. I think the true self is measured through action. Who we are is best expressed by what we do. You can’t make good choices when you don’t have good options, and this afflicts many of us but at the same time, what you do around the stuff you can’t control is also a measure of self.

Who you are when everything is easy may not be as telling as who you are under pressure. Who are you when you are afraid, or hurting? How do you act when things don’t go your way? What do you do when you’re thwarted, limited, let down or otherwise set back? Life throws up challenges all the time, and what we do in response to them tells us a lot about who we are. The more open we are to recognising ourselves in tough situations, the more whole and integrated we can be. None of us is perfect and saintly in all things. To be passionate and authentic and to care deeply about things will also make you messy and complicated sometimes. Seeing how the best parts of yourself relate to the most challenging parts of yourself can be illuminating – often these things run close together.

There’s a power in learning to be radically honest with yourself. That means uncovering your strengths and shortcomings alike. It means knowing where you are vulnerable and what you don’t handle well. Know what the best of yourself is and also know when and why you don’t meet your own expectations. Know how you impact on others but don’t let what other people want you to be entirely define you.

Life is an experiment. We try things and see if they work for us. We explore ways of being in the world, ways of thinking, relating and acting. Hopefully with enough experimenting we get to know who we are, and we become wiser, more patient with ourselves, more at peace with things. It’s good to feel like a work in progress and not like something that has gained its final form already. Know yourself, and know that tomorrow could radically change that for you.

Credit

druid life

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings.
Credit: druidlife.wordpress.com
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