Menu
Announcement: Want to share your story in the next Tiny Buddha book? Learn more here!

Discovering the Elusive Truth and Falling in Love with Yourself

Woman and Trees

“Pleasure can be supported by an illusion, but happiness rests upon truth.” ~Sebastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort

In today’s world, we are bombarded day by day and moment by moment with images and messages of who we should be, what we should be doing, and exactly how we should be doing it.

The promises of happiness and fulfillment in those mirages of ultimate perfection are all too often shallow and elusive, constantly evading us and leading us time and time again to nothing more than dead ends and empty hopes.

With a natural craving for transcendence and supremacy, we grab our running gear and join the race for self-realization in our fast-paced, “keeping up with the Jones’” society, and along the way we all, at one time or another, face plant into our own pitfalls and potholes.

As soon as we reach for the first “promise,” we begin to discover the hollow hub inside, but fooled into taking the bait, we keep striving for the next, and then the next, and then the next.

It becomes a game of never ending striving for something more, but the nature of exactly what that something is remains a masked figure, unknown to many.

For most of us, the growing disappointment over the sense that something is amiss within us can become our greatest enemy—the enemy of self-destruction. This slow, sly beast can manifest as jealousy, greed, addictions, depression, and so on and so forth.

We all face our own monsters and we all fight with different weapons, but the one thing that is constant from one person to the next is that we are all engaged in war. We are all engaged in this battle of the heart (truth) versus the mind (illusion).

My illusion was based in idealization. I took pleasure in every small step toward being the ideal daughter or the ideal sister. I rejoiced in every pound dropped from my already slender young body as I approached what I thought was the ideal frame for a young woman. I found comfort in recognition through reaching various ideal standards of success and accomplishment.

But whatever joy I managed to harness in these pursuits was quickly swallowed by something deeper, by the discontent produced by some unnamed, unacknowledged stirring of my soul that was being suffocated by the siren’s song of superficiality.

As such, I slowly began to lose myself. I gradually began to kill my spirit with self-medication through a cycle of anorexia and bulimia. I lost myself in the potholes of my own journey toward self-realization, and I no longer knew the truth of who I was.

After five years of living in the dungeon of desolation and desperation, I realized that the only thing keeping me shackled to sorrow and sickness was my own mind.

I realized that if I was going to insist on restricting, I needed to restrict the amount of negative self-talk I had allowed to infiltrate my mind instead of restricting the amount of food I allowed to enter my mouth.

If I was going to binge, I needed to binge on opportunities to make meaningful memories with friends and family instead of binging on anything and everything I could find in the kitchen.

If I was going to insist on purging, I needed to purge through tears, laughter, and signs of affection instead of purging up the remains of my last meal.

If I was going to be free, I needed to be authentically me.

The journey toward our center takes us through the wilderness of the unknown, and my own journey has been no exception. The most terrifying part of the wilderness we travel through is coming face to face with the unknown in and of itself.

Most addictions are imbued with a familiarity of numbness, which is developed as a “survival skill” in order to avoid the potential pain of feeling. However, feelings themselves became my compass out of the wilderness and back to the homeland.

I had to learn that opening my mind to noticing how I was feeling, whether it was upset, depressed, or lethargic, also opened my mind to realizing the thoughts behind the feelings—the thoughts that said, “You’re not worthy of success,” “You’re unfit for that group,” or “You’ll never amount to much.”

The more I allowed myself to feel, the freer I became, and I was soon able to start countering my reflexive thoughts with positive affirmations, words that honored me and showered me with self-love and self-respect.

As I began to make the transition toward my own inner truth, I stopped seeing myself as the world told me I should be, and instead saw myself in the light of who I was made to be. I began to feel whole.

We are all made to be unique, and that’s what makes us beautiful. If I can leave you with one word to help you unlock your own individual journey, it’s intentionality.

Your intention to connect with yourself must come from within your own heart and it must be grounded in your own desire to find yourself in the fog. Intention rooted in outside influence is nearly always an unstable, temporary bandage that will peel away when faced with a strong tug of opposition.

Since every person is unique, the game plan can remain open for interpretation, but as soon as you set your intention, you unlock the doorway that allows the game plan to begin to play out.

Intention. That is the key. Be open to tweaking the plays and the passes along the way, and be flexible with the free space in between. Above all, always remember to take time to be still and listen to your heart.

To find the truth of your heart is to fall in love with yourself. To find and connect with the song of your soul is to sing a melody of contentment and peace.

Photo by Martinak15

Avatar of Jordan Sibila

About Jordan Sibila

Jordan Sibila is a 200-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher and she shares her love of connecting with others by connecting with her students. She also journals daily to help her develop more recognition of self and is working on (one day) publishing a memoir about her story.

Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
  • Audrey Meyer

    Nice article–I especially liked the way you spoke of the allure of the superficial as, one’s soul being suffocated by the siren’s song of superficiality. I think that is a great observation and one that is often missed. All of us require real sustenance and , as you say, that can only come from being in touch with and respecting the contents of our hearts. There is no real substitute for being our authentic selves. Thanks so much.

  • Mark

    Very true. I actually just blogged about this same idea. How we are just never happy with what we have NOW.

    http://www.minimalistlifestyle.wordpress.com

  • Shawn-W.-Larson

    A very altruistic article, Jordan. I found some solace in it.

  • sameer

    Rightly said, but difficult to implement when the whole world is trying with all its might to define with you with its idea of true identity.

  • Jordan

    Hi Sameer, I agree that it is a bit of a tug-of-war battle, but take a deep look at your values and notice where you are and what you’re doing when you feel completely content. When you start operating in your passions and when you starting living out your purpose, it will slowly start to silence the world’s opinions. If you pay attention to the sensations in your body, you’ll know when you’re in the right element for you.

  • Jordan

    Hi Mark, so true. We DO have MORE than we NEED, but we all too often confuse wants with needs. Much of what we feel we need in life, especially materialistic items, are actually wants. Our worth is NOT based in how much we make or what we own… our worth is found in what we do with our time and how we interact with others, and NONE of that can be purchased or counted by quantity.

  • Jordan

    Hi Audrey, I’m glad you enjoyed it! We are living creatures just like animals, and we all have our own “element(s)” in which we do our best, and elements where we find ourselves floundering around a bit. A fish doesn’t fare well out of water, and a cat can’t swim for days. We all have to tap into the elements we were created for in order to realize and embody our greatest potential (our authentic selves).

  • Jordan

    Hi Shawn, thanks for commenting! I’ve always said that if I can help at least one person with my writing, then I’ve done my job. :)

  • Jewels

    Fantastically worded, Jordan! So often I’ve tried to discuss this journey to loving yourself and how essential it is to a healthy life and relationships (family, friends, and lovers alike). I cannot stress enough to people how crucial it is to get in touch with yourself, empower yourself, and give voice to your needs and fears before you try to conquer anything. Too many people don’t take the time to be quiet in their own mind and life and discover what it is that fuels them, motivates them, and instead focus on what’s expected of them by others outside themselves. Heck, sometimes it’s perceived expectations you put on yourself. Either way spending some ME time is a must to a happy person.

    I loved this article. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Mark Meyers

    Just fantastic writing Jordan!!!

    Earlier today I spent sometime writing a list of negative thoughts about myself that were passing through my mind as I read your article. I was having a really difficult day and your article prompted me to do this, I have never done this before. The list of negative thoughts was two pages long and came out of me quickly. I was crying uncontrollably as I did this and feeling horrible. Thirty minutes later, after some quiet reflection, I felt peace and serenity wash over me. I had allowed myself to confront and acknowledge my negative thoughts and to realize their existence. And I had allowed myself to feel the pain that these thoughts carried. Such painful work, but so worth it. I feel so good now.

    Your writing somehow resonated within me and has brought me to a new level of understanding. And it has given me a tool to use, to feel my feelings.

    Thank you so much!!

    Sober 1 1/2 years

  • http://www.mamikaze.com/ mamikaze

    lovely! I fall into the cycle of negative self-talk very easily. It has taken me several years to accept who I am and not accept anything less from others. It hurts me to see the people I love trapped in this pit.

  • imapepper99

    OMG … this resonated for me more than EVERTHING I’ve read before!!! God Bless you for helping us see this TRUTH.

  • imapepper99

    My heart is with you!!!! I get you totally … I’m gonna have to try this exercise myself!!!

  • Jordan

    Thanks Mark! And keep writing and reframing your thoughts :) . Over time, the thoughts that you find yourself writing out will be increasingly more positive and realistic. I carry a pen and paper with me at all times. *Big hug*

  • Jordan

    God bless you too!!! <3

  • Jordan

    I think accepting ourselves is always an ongoing process. I believe that since our experiences shape us, our character is constantly evolving, and we have to be okay with the fact that who we are today may be a little different than who we will be five years from now. We wake up every day with a blank canvas. Paint the canvas with the colors of YOUR character, not with the colors of everyone else.

  • Jordan

    Thanks Jewels! I agree that “me” time is crucial. It took me a LONG time to learn that. My life coach honors this concept too, and she likes to “prescribe” Snow Days for her clients. A Snow Day is a day where we do NOTHING. No phone. No internet. No chores. No errands. And no other people. You can do what you want with your snow day as long as it is truly time for yourself. I usually spend mine taking a LONG hike, watching the sun set over the lake by my home, and then curling up on my couch with my journal or a good book.