Matt Hogan standing in forest

Getting to know yourself isn’t fun.

Getting to know yourself isn’t fun. It certainly can be. But, often the conversation that is swept under the rug is the one that speaks to the moments that feel like life as you know it is unraveling. 

Or, the moments where you begin to question who you are anymore.
Over time, it becomes clear this is a part of an ongoing cycle of many small deaths. Deaths of personality, habits, and perceptions.

Though, for a long time, even though you may know growth is occurring, it’s anything but fun. 

It can feel like hell.

The number of times I’ve cringed when I’ve received the question of, what if this could be fun are too numerous to count.

The man I’m currently working with has posed this for me many times. Perhaps that is because one of the aspects of myself that I am attempting to reclaim is my light playful side. 

That aspect of me that is equally capable of doing important work in the world, while having fun along the way.

The paradox is that it requires me to be in this process of change, that is not inherently ‘fun’. While I find my way back to the parts of me that enjoy life more readily.

Call him a coach, mentor, advisor, thinking partner and/or spiritual guide. All are appropriate. Either way, when he poses this question, I hear parts of myself saying…

Are you kidding me, there’s no time to fool around

But, if I am enjoying life like that no one will take me seriously

Insert many more rationalities about why life can’t be fun and impactful at the same time.

He often reminds me, look at the Dalai Lama. This man that meets with world leaders and walks a spiritual path that many revere. Yet, if you watch most interviews, he carries with him a warmth and playfulness that is clear. 

This post isn’t so much about what is acceptable as fun versus not. Nor is it about trying to convince you that you should have more fun because it will somehow fix your life.

Many of us deep down, don’t want someone to fix us. We may seek advice and support. But, our greatest support line is our Inner Teacher. 

It’s inside us, ready to guide our lives, as we are willing to listen. (I’ve been guilty in the past spoon of feeding advice. I’m gaining traction speaking to the Inner Teacher that we all have.)

This post is about truths I’ve found in getting to the core of who I am. And, what I have seen with the clients that hire me to walk with them through their process. 

If we do a quick search, we can find a plethora of people talking about:

Get to know who you are

Find yourself

Let down the masks and be you

(Guilty)

This is great. It paints a picture of the destination we walk towards.

What I find missing, in my own writing and amongst others, we don’t talk about the journey to this far off land. This promise land of wholeness, plenty, balance, and joy. 

We don’t talk enough about the way we most need to be with ourselves in the moments that are freaking hard. I’ll make it simple. The journey to discover our deepest truths is harder than most commonly shared. 

Many including myself know it’s worth it. But, it can be mind bending  and emotionally gut wrenching at times. 

Because you have to learn and face the truths of who you are being now. On this journey what inevitably occurs is growing awareness of:

  • The ways you manipulate, judge, and lie to yourself and others
  • The ways you say one thing and do another
  • The agreements you create and break
  • The deeper fears you hold and the ways you ‘fix them’

Anyone that tries to tell you this path is easy, is full of bologna. (Did you read that? I used the word ‘bologna’. That was my attempt at answering the question, ‘what if it could be fun?’… as I chuckle using the word)

This said, if you find yourself on this path; offer the parts of yourself that feel lost, confused, scared, angry, or lonely, some grace. You don’t need to arrive today. There is no destination.

This path we choose of depth, of growing and departing into the unknown, has many beautiful and awe inspiring moments. 

When the inevitable moments of spinning, uncertainty, and experiences of overwhelm arise, don’t let them deter you.

My work is helping people know themselves at depths never seen before. AND, at the same time, I’m still in my own inner exploration. Step by step and moment by moment, I discover aspects of myself I did not know existed. And bit by bit, I bring more of myself into my life.

Offer yourself grace and keep going. Your inner teacher is guiding you for a reason.

Be well,

Matt

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