The first essential aspect of our journey to live a more authentic, meaningful and fulfilling life, is to know who we truly are at the deepest level. Knowing ourselves, like being authentic itself, is a lifelong process. The more deliberate we are about this, however, the more we can grow and evolve consciously.
For me, knowing myself has been, and at times continues to be, a little tricky. For many years, I thought "knowing myself" meant knowing about myself (my "story," my issues, my drama, where I'd been, what I'd been through, etc.). While knowing about ourselves is important, it's only a small piece of who we really are.
Being fully aware of ourselves is about looking more deeply within. This can be challenging, confusing and scary for some of us, myself included. We often aren't sure where to look, what to do or how to deal with the aspects of ourselves we don't understand or even like. There are times I find myself wanting to avoid or deny certain aspects of myself, rather than confront them and deal with them directly based on my own fear or self-judgment. However, as we're willing to really go within ourselves, know who we are and make peace with ourselves, we can create what we truly want in life. As Eckhart Tolle says in his best-selling book A New Earth, "Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free."