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by Dee Harris

finding yourself

   I just spent the most glorious day with my 4-year old granddaughter.  How refreshing to experience her light-heartedness, her innocence, her ability to be in the moment.

   How can I keep her like this?  I know that I was once pure and unscathed.  No regrets about the past; no worries about the future.  Once upon a time…I was not lost.

   But nowadays with both of our parents at work, we attend child care and pre-school before kindergarten.  We start to be exposed to the real world.  And we have television not only for educational purposes, but for our babysitter.  If we choose wisely what our children watch and what schools they attend, we can somewhat shield them from the big bad world.  But not for long.

   Our children need to be social beings.  We are all social beings and need each other to thrive.  However, there are some Big Bad Wolves out in the real world so we must teach them early about safety.

   Ok, done.  Don’t talk to strangers.  Safety in numbers.  No one can touch you.  Always tell a trusted adult when someone scares you or gives you that oh-oh feeling.

   But no matter what, we start to lose our true self.  We go to school.  We make friends,  We have peers.  We are influenced.  They say nice things; they say hurtful things.  Our pride suffers; our feelings are hurt.  We start to cover up our true self in order to prohibit more of those hurtful remarks.  And over the years with these occurrences, we lose touch with our true self.

   And then there is social media (all that stuff on TV, movies, magazines, computers and the like).  Oooohhh, they’re so pretty or so handsome.  They’re so popular.  I can never be like them.  We shrink a little more; we feel a little more “less than”, experience by experience.  Now we are really out of touch with our true self.

   And what if we come from a family or home where love nor self-worth is enhanced, let alone provided.  Or we are hurt physically or verbally.  Geez.  What happened to that light-hearted, innocent child in us?  And if our family came from a family of abusers, what hope is there for us?  They don’t know any better or any other way either.  We’re screwed!

   It’s taken me many a decade to unlearn what was shoved down my throat as a child.  Most of our thoughts and feelings come from the early years of our lives.  I heard numerous times to strive for the almighty dollar.  More is better.  Go to college.  Push.  Shove.  Stab whoever in the back to get to the top.  Get a lot of money.  Get a lot of power.  Sacrifice everything (even yourself) to achieve this goal.

   And how many of us felt too fat, too short, too curly, wore glasses, wore braces, you get the gist.  We just didn’t fit in quite right.  We didn’t fit into that clique of peers that were so popular, so comfortable, and had so much fun.

   Guess what?  Those peers were never 100% comfortable in their own skins either.  These experiences are human experiences that we all go through.  But whether you were told at a young age or here and now, YOU are a gift!  You are UNIQUE!  You are SPECIAL with qualities that no other human being has on this planet.

   And when you’re feeling that you just can’t pull yourself up out of the hole you’re in, reach out your hand and don’t deprive us of the gift of getting you on your feet.  Yes, we can love you until you are able to love yourself.  We see your gifts even though you don’t…yet.

   And know that all of these experiences and feeling are what make you YOU.  Without this journey called life, with your thoughts and feelings, you would just be a robot.  Not much to contribute to humanity just being a robot.  Turn your thoughts and experiences, no matter how negative you might consider them, into the positives that make you the pure and unscathed person you once were.  You know, we always have that inner child in us; it is always there!

   So know that there were no coincidences on your journey.  It happened just perfectly to bring you to where you are here and now.  Just perfect!  Dang!

   So one day at a time you find yourself smothered in the cocoon of cultural conditioning, other people’s opinions, and inaccurate conclusions about who you are.  Guess what?  One day at a time you can start shedding all that sh*t, unlearning that which does not serve you, and find that kid in you again, the “real” you that you were always meant to be before the world got its hands on you.  Enjoy the journey.  Be excited for each new day and its new freedom.  And then share it with another struggling human being.

   Thank you for being here.  I encourage any and all feedback.  We’re on our journeys together with experience, strength and wisdom to share with one another…and one day at a time, our love and understanding will ripple its way around this wonderful planet of ours!

   With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

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