A Simple Path – To Finding You | The BridgeMaker

A Simple Path – To Finding You

By on Sep 01, 2013

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle

What makes you you?

Maybe it’s the color of your skin, the shape of your nose or the place you call home.

What makes you you?

Maybe it’s who you love, what brings you peace or how you see the world.

What makes you you?

Some of the answers might be found in the life experiences that have created your past and the experiences that live in your present.

What makes me me
It’s always been difficult to consider my past. There’s so much junk that lives back there; however, looking at my past gives me a clearer picture of what makes me me.

… junk like:

  • Being teased for my speech impediment
  • Watching my mother choose the bottle over me
  • Witnessing Eric lose his leg
  • Pushing my wife away
  • Losing Eric, my brother

…and this junk has shaped who I am today:

  • The ambition that drives me was born on the school playground where I became determined to prove the bullies’ words wrong.
  • I may not be a perfect parent, but I always try to put my children’s needs first.
  • I learned as a young boy that life isn’t fair – it can be cruel, dark and somber, but I chose to love it anyway.
  • Realizing that second chances are a beautiful gift.
  • Becoming aware to cherish every relationship, every day and every moment.

Sometimes the simple path to finding you begins by taking a look back and then recognizing how your past, junk and all, leads you to you.

What happened in my past is as much part of me as the color of my skin, the shape of my nose and the place I call home.

But rather than pushing these memories away, I try to accept them and recognize that each painful moment has led me to moments that are full of grace, peace and love.

I find me not when I run away from my past, but when I acknowledge it and then make the choice to move forward anyway.

finding yourself

What is A Simple Path?

This post is in A Simple Path, a twice-weekly series of short pieces inspired by my own life experiences. Each post is a simple path to experiencing something wonderful: maybe seeing life from a different perspective, or celebrating its beauty. Click here to read all posts in the series.

The BridgeMaker Founder Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Join the community to connect, share and inspire: Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

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  • Thanks for this thoughtful, thought-provoking and very honest post. For years when I was younger I thought all the time about the negative things I went through in my past and how they were still impacting me in a negative way. As I grew older (and wiser?), I came to realize that all of my experiences make up who I am, and that a lot of good things about me today came from the adversity I had experienced in the past. Now I can appreciate that who I am today comes from a combination of all past experiences and feelings. I, too, can see the positivity in that realization. I would add that writing about your past is a great way to get some clarity on what makes up who you are today.

    • CJ – thanks for sharing your thoughts, and heart. Continued blessings to you on your journey forward.

  • This reminds me that some of the greatest people come from some of the worst life pains. (Not always the case but oftentimes it’s true) What was meant to hold you back is what shaped you into the great person you are Alex! Thank you so much for sharing. It always inspires me to see people who have turn their mess into a message. Again thank you!

    • Jarrod, I love the expression “mess into a message.” That sums up why I write and share. Thanks for sharing your encouraging voice with us.