The more I step into this place of being open about early midlife celebrations, the more women I’ve noticed coming forward with their stories of frustration and loss. And when I say “loss”, what I’m hearing more and more is that they’ve lost sight of who they are and are frustrated about who they’ve become.
For most of these women, they’ve arrived at a place where they can’t stand to face the person staring back at them in the mirror. So they avoid the truth of their own reflections and continue on in their day-to-day existences; the very same existences that have them feeling disconnected from who they truly are.
As I’ve listened to these women and even shared my own frustrations, what I have found is one common mission – they, we, are trying to get back to who they, we were. Somewhere between being single and marriage and motherhood, or being single and taking on the added responsibilities and pressures of life for those who are not yet mothers or married, we’ve forgotten who we used to be.
Somehow, something inside of us clicked and we decided that we can no longer be who we used to be. Many of us abandoned connections, personal interests and taking time for self to completely cloak ourselves in the roles of being wife, mother, career woman, business owner, caretaker, etc. For whatever reason, we seem to believe that in order to be good at our new roles in life our old selves don’t fit into the equation. This can’t be further from the truth.
Who we used to be is critical to who we are to become if we truly desire to rise above where we are currently. Right now, I’m guessing that there are many of you reading this feeling hopeless, inadequate, frustrated, angry, lonely, lost and confused about how you got to this current place of feeling like you don’t even know who you are anymore. I can tell you from firsthand experience that the only way to begin to move beyond those negative feelings and get back to a place of intimacy with yourself is to get back in touch with you.
For some, this is going to be difficult. Many of us are not willing to face the truth about ourselves. We’re afraid to see where we fall short and admit the mistakes we made in the past that were damaging to ourselves and possibly others. But the truth is, you’ve got to get over it. You’ve got to be willing to face those things about yourself that you don’t like just as much as you’re willing to face those things about yourself that you do like. It’s called balance. And when we break it all down, we are where we are now because we are out of balance with our personal truth.
The good news is that as you spend time reflecting and getting back in touch with all things you, you also have the opportunity to explore those things about yourself that you absolutely love and may have lost a connection with.
Perhaps you used to love to draw, paint, dance, swim, have regular “girls’ night” or dine out at a new restaurant once a month? As you remember those things that used to bring you joy and make you happy, find ways to bring them back into the fold of your life.
As women, it is critical for us to remember that until we can be good to ourselves we are completely useless to others. We are the goddesses of this earth and the vessels that bring forth life. We are nurturers and creative beings by nature. We contribute much not only to our immediate circle but to the world at large. Until we can get over our petty internal conflicts and see that there is something much greater that we are meant to do, be and have, the truth of total self-acceptance which is rooted in love, peace, joy and harmonious balance will continue to elude us.
If you have been feeling disconnected from who you are, I challenge you to be truthful about who you were, who you are now and who you desire to be.
I shared with a friend yesterday experiencing this very dilemma of losing sight of who she was, that the overall goal of getting back to the root of who you are isn’t to make things “like they used to be”. That’s just taking a step backwards.
The goal is to get in touch with those positive things that made you who you were when you felt good about yourself, fold them into those new aspects of you that you like and carry them with you as you step into who you are to become. No, the goal is not to just get back to the old you and make it like it used to be. The goal is to be better than you used to be. The goal is to be the best you’ve ever been.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and join in the conversation.