Through the process of self-discovery I realized, sadly, that I had not been living my life in an authentic way. I was so concerned with what people thought of me and how other people saw me that I wasn’t even remotely being my true self. After much time alone, in self-discovery and healing mode, I have truly found my path on this Journey to finding me and it feels incredible.
After my divorce, the most important thing that I did was remove myself from all social media (i.e. Facebook, Instagram). In fact this is first thing I request that my coaching clients do when they are going through a difficult phase of life. This simple act helps them regain their sense of worth, empowers them to validate themselves and frees up a lot of time that they were spending looking at other people’s lives and comparing their own lives to another’s which are very unhealthy behaviors!
Once you remove yourself from social media or at least Facebook, you can start to learn who you are and get to know yourself without all of the noise (I call it chatter) and the constant chaos that social media tends to cause. You won’t be posting something in hopes of validation that someone “liked” it and disappointment when they don’t. Instead, that validation will come from within. It is critical that you learn to validate yourself and not seek your self worth from others.
The truth of the matter is, it took me a good solid and downright painful year of solitude to figure out who I was, the good and the not so good. I found it to be easier to start with the broken side of me, because that is usually the most obvious and, well, its the hardest to face and conquer. No one likes when the mirror is presented to them, do they?
I learned very quickly that I was a complete control freak which derived from a severe fear of abandonment. I literally tried to control every single aspect of my life. I knew this needed to change. So I dug deep with a therapist and a spiritual coach and we started working to heal those deep, dark childhood wounds. I learned that because of my need for control, I wasn’t even remotely enjoying life I was steering and driving everything to go the way I believed it needed to go all the while missing out on the beauty and the magic of surprise or the unknown.
I was missing all of the magic!
The reality is, it is impossible to control every aspect of our lives, and very painful trying to do so. However, this is a hard lesson to learn. I became aware of many other things about myself which were depressing, interesting, eye opening and confusing all at the same time but I have to say, this Journey of self discovery has been truly amazing. Learning about yourself is cathartic on so many levels and really opens up the doors to healing and the magic of life.
So, after I started working through the “bad” stuff, the positive parts of me started to surface and I have discovered some really neat things about myself. In addition, I started to forgive myself and others and even started feeling compassion which was not very familiar to me.
I learned that I am more of an introvert than an extrovert, which was highly surprising to me. In the past I always centered myself around people and truly felt I needed people to survive. This is no longer the case. I understand now that it was my intense fear of being alone that drove me to engage in extroverted behavior and not that I was an actual extrovert.
In fact, I now completely crave my alone time. If I am with a group of people for too long, I become emotionally drained and find that I am ready to go back to a place that brings me solace – my sacred space!
I also learned that I am very creative, intuitive and philosophical (yes, a true to form Sagittarius).
As a result of all this work, as I stated, I really appreciate and even crave my alone/down time so much, I process information differently, I look forward to every moment I spend on my yoga mat and I am actually able to meditate on my own now. I used to think with meditation you had to shut down your brain to the point that no thoughts entered which is impossible and not what is required. Once I got the concept of simply “resting your body and mind” even for 5 minutes, I saw the benefits immediately.
Because of this transition I am a better person. My relationships are stronger and deeper. I have zero tolerance for toxic people and I have made a conscious choice and commitment to myself to only surround myself with people who I feel good around. Sounds a little selfish, but it isn’t. Life is short and spending it with people who emotionally drain you or continuously take from you is not healthy, for either person.
The message – always choose yourself!
The old me used to be constantly busy, planning my weekends way in advance to make sure I always had a social function to attend or at the very least, people to spend time with. Now, I value my time so much that I refuse to plan my life away. Some things are unavoidable and there are times you need to plan things in advance, but most of the time I see it as my weekends are me time and most of the time I don’t know what I want to do until I wake up, on that day! There are times I just want to do my own thing with no responsibilities or commitments and mostly I just want that flexibility to decide.
This is OK!
Through this amazing transformation I have learned who I am as a person, a mother, friend, co-worker, employee and person of society and I truly like who I am. There are things I am working on and things that will not change that I have to accept about myself, but overall I am the healthiest I have ever been and I am grateful to have had this time to find me.
So, I encourage you to ask yourself…who are you? do you like you? and what would you change if you could?
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