Piece of cake. Not.
Especially not when you are a person who thinks you cannot move on with day to day life if you haven’t done all of it.
My argument with my dear friend fell on deaf ears.
I tried explaining how some people probably don’t “find themselves” even until they are on their death bed. Others may figure certain things out only by getting on with life and going with the flow. And sometimes, you cannot afford to stop your life just to sort out some issues. The clients I see have not all stopped getting on with school, with relationships or work just to sort out their depression or anxiety or post-traumatic stress. Some adults may stop work for a while but they will still seek therapy. Not just mull around things in their head and sort it out that way.
The past doesn’t always determine the present or the future. No matter what Freud and attachment theorists would like you to believe. But some people, including my friend, truly believe the past does determine your life. And hence is stuck and unable to move on with life. Traumatic experiences do occur. Dysfunctional families are almost the norm. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a choice in terms of how our lives pan out. We may not always sort out all our issues but we do have a choice regarding how we deal with these issues. Do we want these issues to rule our lives? Or do we want to get on with day-to-day life and work on the issues simultaneously?
And why is it so important to find oneself? I get annoyed with books and movies glorifying how people find themselves. [Funnily enough, they tend to do that in India. Go figure!] It is a new-age thing for sure. I’m pretty certain Gandhi or Martin Luther King never “found themselves”. They got on with their lives, stood up for their beliefs and took on responsibility. We can’t all be Kings and Gandhis. But we can get on with our lives. Doing what we do. Not needing to travel to India or other countries to ‘find ourselves’.
It doesn’t matter if I don’t know what my purpose on earth is. As long as I am content with what I’m doing and not harming anyone, that should be enough. Sometimes, it is not our careers that is our ‘purpose’. It may be something completely different. Who knows? Maybe we are all here to do one small thing and we may have already done it. Does that mean we stop living now?
I understand this has turned out to be a bit of a rant. Honestly though, if another person tells me they want to “find themselves” I’m going to physically hurt someone! 😛
So what about all of you out there? Do you have similar beliefs? Have you come across people who are so stuck in the past and not getting on with the present thanks to irrational or unhelpful beliefs?
Until next time,