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

  • Fran Sorin

    Alex- Beautifully voiced. How you’ve chosen to recognize and use obstacles from your past and honor how they’ve helped you become who you are today is admirable. With gratitude-

    • Fran – your sincere encouragement is always appreciated. I’m grateful for you as well! Take good care,


  • “Every decision, every action, and every reaction has led you to this point right now.” This has been my motto as of late. Accepting the past for what it was and wasn’t has been key to me being able to move forward. I used to throw the blame around for the not so great stuff, but it wasn’t until I learned to just accept it, own it, and exist with it that I am now free.

    Great article – Thanks for sharing!

    • That’s a very empowering motto Jonathan – one that will sustain you as you move forward. Acceptance has the been the key for me to let go of the anger and feel free, too.

      Thanks so much for sharing,


  • hannesc

    Thank you so much for this post Alex. While reading it, I came to realise that I was doing nothing more than running from my past, instead of looking at it and learning. You post not only inspired me to look at my past and take the lessons from it, but also hope in what is yet to come.

    • Hi Hannesc,

      For me, my past has become such a big part of me that’s it hard to simply bury it. While I don’t stay stuck in my past, I certainly acknowledge it and the lessons learned there.

      Thanks so much for reading,


  • Doug Armey

    An insightful post. The good, bad and confused make up our lives. God’s grace covers them all and leads us into the richness that only he can make out of all the mess.

    Thank you for the vulnerability of the post. Blessings for the journey.

    • Hi Doug,

      Grace is indeed a blessing and a gift. Thank you for dropping by and for your encouraging support.


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