Knowing who you are also means being aware of your feelings. We need to recognize and be willing to share our emotions if we want a truly intimate relationship. Sharing feelings makes us vulnerable, which can feel risky, especially if we grew up in family that discouraged expressing them or labeled some feelings as right or wrong.
People who I haven't seen in 10 years say I look younger at 51 then I looked at 40. I always feel a little bad when they say that, and think to myself, "Did I look that bad back then?" The answer is, I didn't look bad, so much as unhappy. Or, I should say, not willing to embrace the secret optimist I was.