Learning to Live More Fully: Remembering the Good Stuff

Photo of person on mountain

I used to suffer from selective amnesia. I would forget myself. All the ways I have shown up in the world in a big way. Things I have done that made me who I am. Things I could be proud of.

Without noticing, I would step away from the most authentic pieces of who I am. And then I would make ‘WHO AM I” so big and scary that I couldn’t move forward in my life. I was paralyzed.

How did I move out of paralysis and begin to live my life? I got better at remembering.
I went from a story of “I am who the world needs me to be” to “I am who I am.” And to get there?

First, I started acknowledging my real emotions. Without judgment and without making myself bad. If I am anxious, I allow myself to sit in the discomfort of feeling off center, not in control. Before, I was “fine.” Except that sometimes, I wasn’t fine at all – I was terrified. Now I accept my fear without creating yet another story of being “fine” (but not really). I remind myself that fear is an emotion I feel, not who I am.

Second, I owned my gifts. All that I am in the world, grateful for my willingness not to hide anymore or explain away everything I have achieved. To accept these gifts, I had to ask myself: What do I believe, deep down?

That I didn’t achieve those things. It was just luck. An accident. Anyone could have done it. And on and on. Minimizing my efforts made me disappear. Now, I am done with disappearing and forgetting the good stuff.

Third, I brought as much lightness as I could to all I experienced. Life does not need to be so serious and heavy, laden with goals and striving, stress and intensity. Lightness allows me to touch the strength inside of me and to play with others. It encourages curiosity and learning. It allows me to be patient with myself and offer compassion to others.

This is how we can all begin to live more fully. When there is no more room for self-indictment and demeaning ourselves, self-trust and self-compassion flourish. And there’s no forgetting what that feels like.