To be at peace with ourselves, we need to know ourselves ... (C. Matthews).
Aware or not we live many lives, not referring to reincarnation but to the evolutionary track of our lives, through infancy, childhood, adolescence, college, career, marriage, parenting, grandparenting and often widowhood. Each stage brings laughters and tears and at each stage, new personal preferences, leaving us often to question. Who am I now? You may fill many roles, but are you the roles you fill? I think not. Do you want to know yourself at a deeper level?
Carve out some time when you can be alone and take a leisurely trip back in time. Trace your life back to your earliest memory and then forward to 6, 7, 10, 16, 21, 25, 30, 35, 40 and onward. What excited you at each age, what were your dreams at each stage. What happened to that child with a 360 degree energy level. Is some of that joy of living still with you or did it get squelched in order to adhere to a set of rules that may have been rigid and suppressive. Journal into these memories, bringing that child forward to make friends with her or him again. Its not too late, no matter what your age to find within you the child you once were. This child holds the key to knowing yourself and living a more spirited life. Granted if your childhood was more than a little dysfunctional you may need professional help to heal the negative and move past it, in order to get to the good stuff.
Above all accept yourself as you are now. It doesn’t mean you have to like everything, but it is in the accepting of yourself that you can let go of some of the shoulds and oughts. Accepting what is allows you to relax, to pause to take a deep breath and take a step forward in a new direction. What you’ll discover will be wonderful - what you discover will be yourself.