I’m concerned about the impact that social media is having on our sense of identity. We’re surrounded by images of how we should be and what we should be doing – what hairstyles should we have this year, what should we be eating and shouldn’t be eating, wearing or not wearing. How we should do our makeup, how we should furnish our homes. With the barrage of information coming at us from all sides it’s often easy to feel overwhelmed and for our identities to become diluted. We cling to the next fashion, the next diet, the quick fix and the latest trend. So, we can be forgiven for feeling a little lost.
I did a course recently, led by Jon Kabat-Zinn and he quoted from the poem Lost by David Wagoner:
Stand still. The forest knows where you are. You must let it find you.
This is also echoed in Rumi’s words: The inspiration you seek is already within you.
Both are grounded in the idea that what we are looking for in life, who we are and what we need is already within us. We just need to stop and stand still for it to become clear, for us to find our way.
While we can also grow from seeking inspiration outside ourselves, in social media, we are in danger of getting lost in it and not seeing our true selves. So we must stand still and look within.
How can we be authentic? We need to look within at the seeds that are inside us. How can we nurture those seeds so that they grow into a true representation of ourselves and not of someone else? We need to tend to them, nourish them.
What makes your heart sing? Reading? Walks in the forest? A warm bath? Bright clothes? Long hair? Colourful throw rugs in your home? Cluttered or minimal? Are you an extrovert or introvert?
We are all different and those differences are what make up our world. If we we were all the same it would be a monochromatic world instead of the colourful place that it is.
Take time to think about what you like, what you need, how you want to be.