On Chasing Yourself
Shannon writes Awash With Wonder, a blog about living intentionally. She takes experiences in her life, looks for the universal lesson in them, and offers them to her readers in the hopes that they’ll learn something too. She also has dual citizenship between South Africa and The United Kingdom but lives in Florida. Follow her adventures on twitter and facebook!
“If you ask me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud”
If you chase anything that is not rooted in a truer version of you, you will be so disappointed. If you chase a career motivated by the amount of money you can earn – you will earn a little more sadness, a little more weariness, with every single dollar. If you chase relationships because you hope that someone else’s love with make you lovable, you will find so much insecurity and unfulfilled desire there. You will not find life. If you chase success because you hope that recognition by others will make you worthy, you will exhaust and deplete yourself for people who will only forget you. Or maybe you will live on in the minds of strangers for a few decades after your death, but if you were not finding yourself in those accomplishments, was it worth it? Who are they remembering? In everything you do, everything you ache for, everything you’re passionate about, make sure that you are looking deeply for yourself in them. Success is not the goal; authentic living is.
“I begin to understand that promises of the world are for the most part vain phantoms, and that to have faith in oneself and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course.”-Michelangelo
Your career will not be there to wrap it’s arms around you on lonely nights, but nor will the people who you invest in while you are neglecting to invest in yourself. There are no guarantees in this life but I know, with that quiet clarity that I associate with truth, that to invest in yourself is to invest in living fully. What does this mean? It means I will chase words, and the opportunity to be the one who crafts them, to the edges of the earth because it is part of me. Because there is a deeper part of myself somewhere in there. It means that you should chase the things that leave you breathless, the things that make you come alive, until you cannot run anymore and then you should crawl after them. The important point in that sentence is not the “things”, it is what those things do for you. Seek life; not the people or jobs or objects that will suck the life out of you.
What is it that you find yourself wanting in the moments when you do not want for anything? The moments when you are not hungry, or tired, or lonely, or even ecstatically happy. In the moments when you just are; what does that deeper part of you still ask of you? Who you are is in the answer and that is always what you should be chasing.