As part of the #BeYourself campaign we have reached out to a number of people across the LGBT+ community to share their thoughts on being themselves and discovering who they are. Darragh shares he thoughts below on the journey of self discovery, finding your inner voice and the adventure of self-exploration.
"Just be yourself," they say. An adage that has, in recent times, lost some of its meaning. But what does it really mean to "be yourself?" A central question on which life itself hangs. One inquiry with many answers, as multifaceted and mysterious as the ones who may ask it. My answer is just one of many.
It means diligently maintaining a growth centred mindset, with which we are equipped to roar, "I’m not afraid to fuck up. I’m learning something, anything, maybe everything." Yes, there are as many lessons to be learned as there are opportunities to make mistakes. The bleakest and brightest of times can bring with them the most awe-inspiring of teachings – all of us, masters and students without ever realising it.
It means accepting this growth even when it’s painful. Know that we are constantly transforming. We are evolving. We must become comfortable with endless waves of change, learning to navigate oceans of transformation.
It means being empowered, courageous, vibrant. Being unapologetic. Accepting that not everyone is going to get you, understand your ideologies, or even like you! But still, living as that unyielding, pulsating, bright shade that you are in a spectrum of colour, in a world of hues.
It means knowing that there are riches hidden deep within you – things which only you can unearth, a voice from which only you can share your story. You all have an individual seal, a mark which only you can leave on the Earth. It’s up to you, no one else, to discover those bespoke methods and means. Dig tirelessly into the centre of your personal planet. Explore unchartered terrain of the mind, and revel in the adventure of self-exploration.
It also means, on occasion, not really understanding yourself but accepting that, too, as part of the process. You’ll ask, "who the hell am I and what am I doing here?" It took me a long time to comprehend the sheer power of asking these questions; my voice was, by no means, found overnight. But once I committed to finding it – that’s when the fun truly began, when I unearthed joys and treasures of the most sublime and surprising.
But know that things will, now and then, only make sense in retrospect. Following years filled with torrents of confusion, clarity may be yours for the taking, as it was mine. When you look back, connecting those once obscure dots, you may finally understand the journey to that place in which you can "just be yourself."
Darragh J. Mullooly is the current Mr. Gay Galway, the founding editor of entertainment website Nitelife Magazine, and a digital influencer with a growing legion of Snapchat fans (@mindfulman.eu). He also runs meditation classes and workshops in Galway City with his new wellness brand Mindfulman Meditation, he also a journalist and influencer @ Irish Bloggers Agency