I watched a video last night where the presenter described his life like a Russian doll, made up from different layers. 
The outside one was this confident, funny person who most people knew him as, the layer below was the one that only close friends knew about - insecure, sometimes down and often uncertain. The layer below was seen by even fewer, this one sadly hurt other people and hid untold truths. The final layer was his ‘inner child’ the ‘real him’ - no-one can see that layer. I’m pretty sure, most of us can relate to that analogy about our own life.
I know Joel as this incredible singer, a doctor and a family man. From the outside, you wouldn’t have a clue about the wrestle he’s had with discovering his own identity.
On one level I can’t relate to Joel’s life, our backgrounds are very different, yet as a human I can totally relate. An old mentor used to describe it as the ‘social self’ and the ‘essential self’. Our social self is the one that lives like we think others want us to, the essential self is often hidden, timid, unsure if others will like who we really are.
The thing is, we’re all unique. 
We’re not meant to be like anyone else, our identities, gifts, perspectives, humour, passions and wrestles are what the world and those around us need, it’s what we need. 
Otherwise we live our lives contained, with this inner ache deep down, knowing that we’re not being honest and true to our essential self.
Discovering who you truly are on the inside, then being cool with that... first on the inside and then being brave enough to live that out externally is probably one of the most challenging journeys we all go on, but at the same time it’s the one that’ll bring the most freedom.

Who do you see when you look in the mirror?
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