When one loses themselves, it is often times very hard to get back to being one with oneself again. There are a plethora of reasons and ways that people lose themselves. This can be affected by tragedies or how we’ve responded to it. Our careers and our relationships, can play a huge part in how individuals lose themselves. I think for so many years I was unable to lose myself because I had never found myself. For so long I ran from various aspects of who I was for fear of judgement, ridicule, or not being accepted. For me it is various levels to this.
As a child I felt angry and hurt constantly. I always felt that I wasn’t wanted, acknowledged, or appreciated. This caused me to act out, shut down, control my emotions, and be a character that was different from the person I saw in the mirror. I gave of my time and body to people with little to no hesitation, because I started to see a pattern at a very young age. I saw that there were those people that because of what they wanted or because of what I could do for them sexually, they acknowledged or needed me. They appreciated me. Then there were those that because I was always there for them, I revolved my life around them, my validation or purpose came from what I could do for them and their opinions of me. This type of mentality carried me from my late teens to my early 30s.
I noticed that I was very unhappy, unfulfilled, and was constantly being hurt and betrayed by people. I couldn’t understand why. Hurt people hurt people, and I was tired of being guilty of that. I had to look deep down and realize; how can so many people know you, how can so many people allegedly like you, how can you have access to so many people…but yet feel broken, abandoned, and alone. Over time, I started to realize that my validation or what I thought made me happy was when other people needed me or they were happy with me.
The problem is that most people only like you not for who you are but for what you can do for them. When you no longer serve them a purpose you start to see their true colors. When you no longer feed their ego….when you no longer put up with their bullshit…when you no longer kiss their asses…when you no longer are being the person they want you to be…you start to see their true colors.
Now I could go into details with my many experiences with the things I just mentioned, and share with you the process that got me to where I am now. However, that’s for a different blog subject matter. What I will say is that I was born and raised in the church. If I knew nothing else I knew how to pray. If I knew nothing else I knew that God was awesome and wanted big things for me. Thus I was never blinded or hurt to the point where I was too far from God to turn to him. Yes I battled with having wavering faith. Yes there were times when I was afraid to turn to God. Yes there were time where I felt that I couldn’t even trust myself so how could I trust God. Due to the fact that, internally, I had a strong degree of self-accountability and wanting more for myself…I was always searching for a resolution. What helped me along my journey was prayer, therapy, and God putting the right people in my life – rather for the long haul or for just a season.
A lot of times people are content or don’t have the right tools instilled in them to be able to decipher that there are some internal things they need to work on and how they need to work on them. Some people can identify the things that they need to work on within themselves. However, they are not willing to do the work; so they continue to cover it up and live with high dosages of denial. Or they turn to drugs, sex, alcohol, to help them mask or ignore.
Hard work was never taboo for me. Achieving goals were never taboo for me. The same fight, strength, courage, and self-control that I used to accomplish all of my external goals….i needed to do the exact same thing with my internal goals. For me personally, the road to getting back to me or re-finding myself – consisted of the 10 following keys:
1. Remembering the things that make me happy and did not have anything to do with anyone else
2. Consistently taking time out for me, myself, and I
3. Spending most of my time and energy with people who bring positivity into my life emotionally and mentally
4. Telling people no and sticking with it
5. Not forcing myself to do something that I highly did not want to do, just because it’ll make someone else happy
6. Not allowing myself to be disrespected and used
7. When I choose to spend time with other people, make sure it is people that bring positive attributes out of me
8. Interact with people who inspire and motivate me...not because of what they do for me but because of how they live their life and the person they are
9. Be around people who are conducive to the person I’m working hard on a daily basis to be and the person I’m consistently evolving into
10. People purge
Let me elaborate a little more of the subject of people purge. Every day I talk to God at least twice a day. This isn’t something I’ve always done, but it is something that I’ve been consistent with for over a year now. I have transparent heart to heart conversations with God. I’m not one of those people who only turn to God when there’s a problem. I’m not one of those people who only turn to God to ask him to do something. Rather good, bad, or indifferent; my daily conversations take place between me and God. Now I’m not trying to force religion on anyone. I’m just sharing what personally worked for me. However, back to this people purge topic. There are certain annual prayers that I do. One in particular has to do with the people in my life and at least twice a year I prayer this prayer. In this prayer I am coming to God asking him for 2 things:
1. If there is anyone in my life that I am not close to, but you want me to be closer to them because their presence in my life is aligned with your plan for me…let something happen to bring us closer
2. If there is anyone in my life that I am close to but at this point in my life their presence is not aligned with your plan for me…let something happen, non-tragic, to either remove them from my life completely or put distance between us…whichever one the Lord feels is best.
Along with that prayer, no matter how much I like or care for a person, I have to be open to acceptance to whatever shift God allows to occur. Each time that I’ve prayed that prayer, I have seen shifts in my relationships/friendships and not one time have I regretted it.
Consistency is very important. Not only should we require consistency from the people we allow in our lives but we should also require consistency from ourselves. I can’t do all the work that I’ve done to get back to me…to find myself…and think that there’s no more work to do. Each day is another step…each day is another opportunity to be greater and better. Just as hard as I worked to find myself, I have to work just as hard to keep myself.