Soul searching. What is that exactly? Is that evaluating your, most likely, complex feelings that are jumbled into a knot that not even the best boy scout can untie? Is it determining who you really are without the influence of outside factors? Is it establishing a set of values to live by? Or is it all of those things and then some indescribable need to “figure it all out?” I’m leaning to the latter as I do my own fair bit of soul searching.
In my last post, I mentioned feeling like I was being chased and no longer being comfortable with the complacency I find myself in. This has spurred on a lot of soul searching and reevaluating. I’ve mentioned my business, Puckish Propensities Press, where I design and sell all manner of whimsical greeting cards to help people connect outside of the digital world. They’re off the wall sometimes, but I love them. I love them for their unique take on things, and because I can be creative, working with my hands to make something. But lately I’ve been wondering if I’m really playing to my strengths. This has led me to ask, “what are my strengths?”
Short answer: no idea. Why is it that when we ask ourselves this question, we can’t answer it? I don’t know if we’re afraid to sound like we’re bragging, or if it’s because we think so negatively of ourselves, that we can’t possibly see anything good? So as I ruminated on that question, “what are my strengths,” a pit opened in my stomach. I don’t know. I don’t think I have any particular quality that stands out. I did well in school, but I busted my butt. I studied a lot with many sleepless nights. Is my strength discipline? Being a hard worker? I don’t know.
So I asked. I spammed my family and close friends with text messages and phone calls. After fielding a few responses, like, “That seems like a big question. What’s up?” I got some answers. The majority of which included writing, creativity, kindness, and patience. I started to think that maybe they were right. I remembered all the stories I found in boxes dating back to when I was 7. I remembered times when I explained a concept to someone who didn’t understand it and didn’t give up until they did. I remembered how much joy I get designing and creating something. I remembered how often I’m told I’m easy to talk to. All of this outside perspective helped me sort out my confusion. While I’m still reevaluating the direction I want my business to go, I have found some clarity.
It reminds me of a William Blake quote:
I looked for my soul, but my soul I could not see. I looked for my God, but my God eluded me. I looked for a friend and then I found all three.
Friendship is important when you’re not sure of your worth anymore, when you’re questioning yourself, or what you’re good at. Let me tell you that you are worth something. Maybe you don’t see it, but I bet if you ask someone, they’ll tell you. So if your soul searching is difficult, don’t be afraid to ask. You might end up unraveling one of those knots. Any sort of clarity will help us in our every day lives. Play to your strengths and hopefully you’ll see your life soar.