Much the same way we begin a yoga practice, we learn ourselves in bits and parts. And during different times in our lives, some pieces of us will be magnified, maybe even convincing us – this is who we are.
Understand, it’s not wrong, it’s just very elementary and is far from complete. It’s going to change. You’re going to change.
For example, if you came from a big family, or have any siblings at all, you’ll probably remember each of the kids assuming some role that separated them from the rest. There was “the smart one” and “the athletic one” ... “the creative one” and “the driven one.”
But did you know that there really is very little IQ difference between siblings? Truth. And there’s plenty of evidence showing the rest also runs in families.
So as kids grow up – or as you grew up, you learned you are so much more than just a role you played growing up. You far more complex and yet, perhaps far less unique than your smaller self knew back then. For within you, lies your own creativity, brilliance, athleticism, and drive – just as this does in everyone else. Some pieces may be more apparent, while others take some work to find. But it’s all there.
Unfortunately, we can get stuck on older versions of ourselves and can’t see past the more outdated, magnified parts. We turn these ideas into stories and become practiced in retelling some extreme version of who we were – but aren’t any longer.
Maybe you’ve had this happen to you where some one describes their impression of you – and it’s literally the opposite of how you see yourself. Like someone mistook you for strong … or brave … competent … and talented. Except they weren’t the ones mistaken – it’s you. You’re the one working with an older version of yourself.
You simply forgot to hit refresh. Or maybe it’s someone else that is refusing to see you as you are now. And it’s someone else who needs to hit refresh.
It happens. Just like on the internet, cached ideas and images clutter stop us from stepping into the moment and seeing our present selves.
Listen, you wouldn’t be who you are now without the past that has brought you here. So whatever it is, it is a part of you that deserves to be recognized and loved. But it’s not all of you. There’s more to know now and more to unfold.
Go back to when you first started practicing yoga. Back then (maybe now?), it all seemed like a bunch of pushups and stretches. Maybe you came in already believing something about the practice and yourself – but the more you practiced, you more you realized how much you didn’t know about either. Discovery is the only constant.
Pushups and stretches blend into poses and series. And then those blend into a practice that now bleeds into life. It all becomes so hard to separate and define. You stop bother trying.
Remember the same of you. You are not the role you are playing or the story you cling to. You are more than your past, bigger than your accomplishments, and not at all your mistakes. We may learn ourselves in bits and pieces, but no one is made that way. You were born whole. You are already whole.
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