St. Francis de Sales once said, “Be who you are, and be that well.”
He also said, “Have patience with all things, but, first of all with yourself.”
These two quotes are intertwined as knowing who you are in not necessarily easy. As you have already discovered, it is in fact a life long process, one in which we become our toughest critic.
In his poem Final Curve, American poet Langston Hughes writes:
When you turn the corner,
And you run into yourself
Then you know that you have turned
All the corners that are left.
That “running into yourself” takes time, and it is often the wrong turns that can be our greatest teacher.
This search for our true self is a process of discernment. It is in this internal digging, that we find our vocation, our call that comes directly from the Almighty.
Author and teacher, Parker Palmer, in his book, Let Your Life Speak, writes, “Vocation does not mean a goal that I pursue. It means a calling that I hear. Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.
We struggle in this listening, don’t we? Even when we try to listen, we allow the loudest voices and noises from society and our past to fill our ears and our heart.
Yet it is in the silence where we find it, our God gently whispering and nudging us to be our true self. You see, it is here where we find our compass pointing us to our northern star, who is God. It is in this space of mindfulness where we find our purpose.
This is a life-long process. Even Michelangelo on his death bed is quoted as in saying, “I am still learning.”
So be patient with yourself, and be kind. Just keep digging in deep in an attempt to find yourself and your God urging you forward to not only find peace, but to deliver justice and love into this world that we temporarily call home.