How to Get to Know Yourself AgainJul 26, 2022
With the New Moon in Leo happening this Thursday, July 28, 2022 (same day as The Unbirthday Party!) I’m thinking about how you can embody an identity. How do you BE who you are?
You are always in process yet always complete. It's through our processes of being and also becoming (and healing) that we truly come to know ourselves and feel comfortable in our fullest expression. But our identities are never fixed. We are always transitioning from one state of being to another. Humans are not one-dimensional or static.
Humans are a part of nature, and in nature, everything is always cycling. We’re always in motion from one state of being to another. Even with fixed energy like Leo's planetary ruler, which is the Sun, we see the moving rotation around its axis. The Sun is often though to be the identity of a person in astrology, but you actually have many different parts of you and they're all constantly experiencing forces upon them.
How do you really come to know yourself when you are constantly in motion? Everything in the Universe is in motion because forces exist in the Universe. If there were no forces, there would be no motion. As humans, we experience these forces often as change.
When we think about change, we often think about major splits. New jobs, changes in relationships, moving somewhere, but we are often less focused on the gradual shifts that are happening every single day. You might notice this change when you realize you’re doing something you no longer have a desire to you’ve stopped doing something you normally would without conscious effort. It’s sometimes as a result of these slower changes that we come to realize we have fundamentally changed—and this can be a major split in itself.
How to Navigate a Changing Identity
I remember one time when I experienced a big split—a major life change of leaving a job and a city I loved all while beginning a new relationship. There were many happy things about this change in my life, but there was also significant grief and a sense of loss. This is totally normal as we experience life changes and identity shifts. It can also feel disconcerting to experience grief while you are doing something you thought you desired.
You might be able to say with confidence who you are based on the past but struggle to put together the words to explain who you are now. You see yourself doing things you know a past version of yourself wouldn’t do. Maybe some of those things feel good, maybe some of them don’t feel that good. Maybe there are parts you realize you’d kind of forgotten about.
You might feel you’re meeting yourself again. And just like when you get to know anyone, you’ll benefit from taking some time to get to know them. Your relationship with yourself is the longest one in your life, so you might as well take time to know yourself deeply. There are no shortcuts to truly meeting and knowing yourself, but the time you spend doing this work will change your life.
Take Time to Get to Know Yourself Again
How do you spend this time alone with yourself? How do you meet yourself again with intention?
When you set aside time to listen to yourself and get to know yourself, you might find many intense emotions. This is part of the reason people avoid being alone and going within. They are afraid of what they will find there. Large emotions can be difficult to navigate because they distract you from your daily life. They make it harder to get things done and it can often feel like there’s no time to be with the emotions.
Developing a strategy to hold space for the emotions for set periods of time can allow the emotions to flow freely while not being consumed by them. There might be times where you do need to set aside other priorities for your emotional wellness. This is okay and mental health professionals can also support you in navigating your emotional boundaries.
Focus On Yourself
Make time with yourself a priority. This doesn’t always mean you have to be alone, but it definitely means being honest about what you really want and need. If you don’t know what you want and need, learning to listen to yourself and trust your intuition is a great way to learn more. I also recommend taking time to meet and interview the different parts of yourself.
As I wrote in my recent, “How to Make Decisions for Yourself,” blog post: The most important work in the decision-making process happens before you even make the choice. In fact, the most important work in the decision-making process happens every single day as you develop self-intimacy and self-trust.
The time you take to meet yourself and listen to the different parts of yourself will help you tenfold as you move further down the road. As you get to know yourself, it becomes clearer what your true yes.
Remember How it Feels to Say Yes and Meant It
When was the last time you said “Hell yes!” to something and truly meant it? What did it feel like? What did it feel like in your body? What did it feel like in your stomach? What did it feel like in your chest?
If you’re not sure, practice asking yourself yes or no questions and identifying where you feel a true yes. For example, I might ask myself something I unequivocally know to be true: Do you love your dog? The answer is a DEFINITE YES! Then I might ask myself a question I know is a definite no: Do you like the song Lean on Me? The answer is a DEFINITE NO!* I feel a yes running from my gut up through the center of my head. I feel a no like tension across my chest. Where you feel the yes and no will be unique to you.
Reflect on What You’ve Learned About Yourself
As you take time to get to know yourself and get clear on what’s a yes and what’s a no, collect and process your reflections in some way. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a journal. It doesn’t have to be anything that you hold onto and look back on. What you need is an intentional place to reflect and express what you need to say and building confidence with being honest with yourself.
You might write in a journal and destroy it, keep a graveyard note in your Notes app on your phone for all the realizations or questions you have, or record yourself talking into a voice memo app. You don’t have to hold on to any of these things, you don’t have to make sense of them. You might prefer to write them down and light them on fire. Your reflections and realizations will stick even if there’s no material proof. And if you want to remind yourself of what you’ve learned, write letters to yourself.
Identify Your Core Values
What would you say is your primary motivation? Do you think you are more motivated by fear or pleasure? How do you feel about your answer?
One very important part of getting to know yourself again is identifying the core values and motivations that are guiding you in your life. In order to identify your core values, notice what’s important to you—family, friends, creative self-expression, a spiritual practice, being in nature, career and leadership goals, etc.
Knowing your core values helps you build personal strength and resilience to know who you are in challenges, changes and transitions. Even if you feel that your life is out of control, you can come back to these core values to guide you.
Let Go of the Should, Blame and Stew
No matter the reason you are experiencing a life change or change in identity, it’s important to practice self-listening and supportive self-talk. While talking to other people can help you navigate major and minor life changes, your own conversations with yourself are of utmost importance.
One of my absolute favorite things I picked up from being a public speaking coach for politicians and activists was this phrase: Don’t should all over yourself.
After the women we coached finished their speech in the training room they would immediately jump into, “I know I should have xyz.”
Drop the shoulds. Don’t blame yourself for what you could have done differently. Don’t keep yourself stuck by stewing over what went wrong.
Meeting the different parts of yourself and understanding why they do the things they do (to protect you etc) helps you be more compassionate towards yourself. It also helps you get clear on the things that are not aligned for your true Self.
Identify and Meet Different Parts of Yourself
I’ve mentioned meeting different parts of yourself multiple times in this post, and you might be wondering what I mean by that. One effective way you can meet different parts of yourself is through your astrological natal chart.
Your natal chart doesn’t only tell you about your personality, it can also reveal what’s important to you, what motivates you, core aspects of your identity, and even how your life, family and ancestral or past life inheritances show up in your life today.
When you combine the insights from your natal chart with a tool like Internal Family Systems, you can get to know yourself very deeply and find more compassion with yourself and peace in life. I explain more about Internal Family Systems in this blog post, which includes a tarot spread for navigating internal conflict. I highly recommend interviewing the different parts of yourself to learn more about them.
At the time I’m writing this, interviewing the different parts of yourself is a great idea as Mars will be in Gemini until March 2023. Learn more about that here.
As you get to know yourself more you will discover that different parts of you have different needs. A simple way to hold space for the needs of these different parts is through the magic of flower essences, which are also incredibly supportive for periods of grief and change.
Advice You Might Reconsider
When we experience a significant change in our life, we often search for answers. Some advice is incredibly helpful, while other advice can do more harm. I find for me as a highly sensitive person, there are some common suggestions that I don’t think are helpful. If these are helpful for you, outstanding, but I encourage you to question if you’ve taken on any of the ideas below in order to detach from intimacy with yourself.
First of all, I don’t think that it is necessarily helpful to say you “found yourself,” because this implies that you had lost yourself. You ARE your SELF, so you can’t lose you. You weren’t lost—there were parts of you that were not getting a voice or seat at the table.
You are in a process of rediscovering yourself (and will be forever). For example, you might have a sudden urge to do something you have done in a very long time. Or maybe you have a reaction you didn’t expect. That’s a part of you that longs to be heard.
This is also why I don’t particularly care for advice like, “talk about problems more than feelings,” because those "problems" might be parts of you that are asking for acknowledgement. You might perceive them to be problems or parts of you might perceive them to be problems because they threaten your sense of safety or spark another deeper emotion.
When you're having an intense emotion or reaction but don't know why it exists, it can be very stressful. You might not know how to respond and you could even do something that is out of character but not be able to explain why. These are all parts of you that are asking for acknowledgement. Listen to those stress responses not as hard and fast truths but places to get curious and interview those parts of yourself.
Explore the Edges
You might meet parts of yourself that you’re less than enthusiastic about, or parts of yourself you find very difficult to understand or deal with, remember that the goal isn’t removing these parts of ourselves.They make up who we are and we want to get clear on what they’re contributing to our lives.
All these parts make up your whole Self, the unique and beautiful person that you are. Without all these parts, you wouldn’t be yourself. But that doesn’t mean you have to listen to one part over another.
Your Self is a guided from your core values, which you discover as you take time to meet yourself again. The more honest and real you are about what matters to you, the more you follow what feels nourishing to you, the more fun you’ll have and the easier you’ll find it is to make decisions for yourself.
This is exactly what I guide you through in The Unbirthday Party!
Here you'll find a guided journey to listen to yourself for clarity and identify what feels best to you.
* When I was in 2nd grade we had to sing this song in choir and we sang it so many times and I just dreaded going to choir during that school year. There might have been other reasons I can’t recall that made this song very emotionally charged for me but I literally have to leave the room if it comes on.
Use astrology to break cycles and align with your calling.
In the Cycle Breaking Astrology Masterclass I will show you
how to identify inherited family patterns in your natal chart to determine the patterns you are here to integrate.
- How to identify inherited family patterns in your natal chart
- Determine the patterns you are here to integrate
- Find the gifts you are here to bring forward
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