Julie: Not Much, just trying to find myself.
It is part of the human experience of growing up. We rise from our youth into adulthood with interest, intrigue and seldom enthusiasm. We are seekers. Seekers of desire, adventure, love and truth.
When we are freed from childhood, we go forth into higher education, the work force or introspective pondering. Some of us know what we want. Some of us consistently ponder within a haze of uncertainty and insecurity. The river of life carries us when we can surrender to the present moment and go outside of our comfort zones.
We might take long breaks from employment and schooling to figure out what we want. We put things into terms of desire and marketability. We ask questions that we are begged to ask from society.
What am I going to do for a living?
How am I going to make money?
Where do I see myself in 5 to 10 years?
Are these inquisitive introspective questions important to us?
Do we often sacrifice our "passions" for more "realistic" and pragmatic paths of certainty?
We often approach these questions with an intention of desire or "progress". We identify with our passions and goals and incorporate them in with the illusory aspect of finding ourselves. We treat our psyches as if they hold fossilized answers to all of our questions. Simply our passions become distractions from our true being. When you identify with what makes you happy or content in the external world, you may miss the mark on what matters on the inside.
This being said, it doesn't necessarily mean that you should forgo anything that makes you passionate or happy, but it is important to see them as parts of you. When you identify yourself with an abstract label, you are devoting yourself to a role that isn't all of you. Your passions are a part of you and serve as excellent signs and markers for decisions you could make for the present and future. You can see them as pieces of a puzzle that are not inherently dependent on who you are deep down.
What is to find yourself?
To say you are finding yourself is to imply that yourself is not complete or entirely intact. When you rely on an outer factor to determine your well being, you are fooling yourself into false completeness. Your self is always there. It is the life force that does not judge nor criticize. Your self is a product of time and experience. In each moment, you have a complete self that is never godown and therefore does not need to be "found". The self is impermanent and can grow and change when awareness and presence are the shining beams of consciousness.
Eckhart Tolle posits that you must first "lose yourself to find yourself". This is an inherently true statement because it requires introspection, surrender and awareness to break away the false identifiers and masks in our consciousness. It raises us to question our values, principles and judgments we have been conditioned to from our upbringing. Shining awareness onto the ego dissipates the compulsory need to think that there is more that needs to be found within the mirage of the egotistic self.
What value does looking inward hold in your life?
Where does presence fit in for living your life?
When you accept yourself unconditionally at every moment, you will see the beautiful impermance of your being that needs no journey or falsified destination to eventually "get to".