February 2019

Thoughtful smiling woman looking with hope into horizon during sunset at beach

Finding your Essential Self and Connecting with your True Identity

Who are you at your core?

If you strip away all the extraneous stuff in your life, what would be left?

In modern society, it’s hard to connect to our true identity because of all the static. The expectations, the influences, the demands: all this external pressure makes it difficult to know our true selves.

It can be helpful to take a step back and think about your essential self. By essential self, I mean the person at your very heart, the person you have left after you strip away everything not essential to your being.

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Fan. Performer with fans in the crowd.

Finding Inspiration in our Favorites: What it Means to be a Fan

I’m a big fan!

To some, this statement engenders a visceral negative reaction. Many people want to be admired for what they do, and some people, such as authors, musicians, and actors, depend on it for their livelihood. But there are different levels of fandom. Some are healthy and appropriate, and some are extreme, bordering on harassment.

The word “fan” is a shortened version of “fanatic,” meaning marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion. It comes from the Latin fanaticus, the definition of which I like even more: insanely but divinely inspired. The spectrum of fandom ranges from admiring and appreciating someone’s work, to being influenced by them, to trying to emulate them, to worshiping them, all the way to trying to become part of their lives.

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