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Focus on Who I Am, Not on Who I Think I Should Be
Submitted by Rachana Suri on Thu, 1/20/2011, 1:15pm
For the last decade or so I have been trying to get to a place “where I had it all”. As a woman from this generation I thought “to have it all” all I needed was a husband, a career, a couple of children, and a body like a twenty-five year old well into my forties. The women’s movement of the 70’s was trying to give us freedom of choice, but in some way it has warped into this fantastical view of what would make a woman happy. This freedom of choice hasn’t given us any real type of freedom instead it has put us on a constant treadmill of striving to reach this idealized goal that has slowly crept into the mainstay of American culture. I feel now as women, we are fighting within ourselves to reach some unattainable outside goal that few ever achieve, or even hold onto forever. As women, I feel the true voice within us has been lost in our struggle to reach this goal. Unlike the women who fought to give us this freedom, we struggle to achieve and maintain it instead of creating a female dialogue that would only continue the growth of women.
I see now as women how we have jumped on that treadmill thinking it would take us forward as a gender, but all we do is keep working to maintain this idealistic goal. I know this because I have lived a large part of my life looking at myself from the outside, always wanting what I thought I was suppose to have, what I thought would make me happy and whole. Now I have started to learn there is nothing outside me that is going to make me happy or whole, it’s all inside me if I bother to take the time to listen to ME.
Something changed in me a year ago, I had another failed relationship, and although I had just been promoted to Vice President and had a successful career and a beautiful home that I just purchased by myself. I still felt like I should be doing more. I kept thinking if I just had this, if I just could get this, if I could lose ten pounds, if I can be more confident… I could have whatever I want….and then I would be happy. It was a vicious cycle and although we laugh at the dog that chases its tail, there are few of us who are not doing this on a consistent basis in our daily lives.
A few years ago, I accidently walked into a Zen Buddhist temple where I wound up sitting in silence for an hour and half. I heard myself. I felt myself. Behind all the things I was trying to do, for a second they all disappeared and I felt whole. It was because I could feel me, my higher self without all the static of my mind. Everything made sense, I made sense, the world around me made sense and how it all works together made sense. That moment has redefined me as I continue with my meditation practice. I have found a larger voice in me that is my own and not the voice of what I think I am supposed to be.
I see how many of my smart and beautiful friends feel that because they do not have a relationship in their life they are not whole; or the struggles of so many women to move forward in a male dominated workforce; and then the ones that stay home with the kids who feel less than because they don’t have a career. Why don’t we feel whole? Why don’t we enjoy ourselves and what we have? I have been pushing and stressing myself out to do all these things that I thought would make me happy, complete me, make me perfect or whole. Nothing ever helped because the finish line was always changing. It is an ideal that very few women achieve. Searching for what I thought would make me happy, was in essence depressing me, giving me anxiety and sleepless nights.
Now I focus on who I am, what makes me happy, and having total awareness of me then allows me to make decisions for myself that are more in line with me and my higher self, instead of trying to appease some short term thought that will only develop into a new one as soon as the old one is gone. I am a long way from getting rid of that voice, the voice we all have that tells us that outside of us there is still more we can attain that would make us happy.
With this blog I hope to inspire women to find their inner voice. Once a week, hopefully,we can stop all our thoughts, judgments, and negative words and focus on our true inner self, and see that once you start tapping into your inner voice, you are no longer like a pavlovian dog running to meet the goal of the moment.
I am honored to write this blog to discuss how meditation and searching for myself has made me realize I have all I need within me… I just couldn’t always see it.
That is why I focus on who I am, and not who I think I should be.
By Rachana Suri
Next week: Going from the inside out, instead of the outside in.
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