Life will push you to your breaking point, but it is possible to put yourself back together. I know because I was once in a space where I felt lost, and life was mentally and physically draining me.
There were times when I felt like running away. Yup, I wanted to pack a bag, get in my car, and drive. A deserted island sounded perfect because I wanted to be alone. What was I trying to run away from, and why did I feel lost? Those were questions that I did not have the answers to but needed to figure out.
Was I a happy woman? Was I a happy wife? Was I a happy mother? Nope, I was not. It had nothing to do with them but everything to do with me. I was lost, living on auto-pilot because ever since I was a teenager, I worked full-time, went to school, and was used to always caring for someone else.
Anxiety and depression were normal for me. However, instead of facing it, I felt immense pressure to finish school and care for my family, neglecting myself. I would convince myself I was okay when I was not. I was wasting time and energy overthinking and working harder than I needed, which was mentally and physically exhausting.
It was time to figure out who Jennifer is and become a healthier version of myself, mind, body, and soul. But where was I supposed to start?
Let's talk about self-discovery.
Self-discovery is the process of understanding your true self, values, wants, and needs. So how do you connect with your true self when you feel lost? Let me break down the process and what helped my self-discovery journey.
- What are the facts? Begin with substantiated facts. Things that you can prove without a shadow of a doubt. In my case, I knew I was married, with four children, working full-time, going to school, and felt like running away.
- Reflect and release the past. Reflect on everything you have been through. I mean everything! This is when a journal and pen become your most resourceful tools. Notice and write down your thoughts and patterns. Ask questions to get to the root of your feelings. Example: Why did I feel like running away? I had to be honest with myself about the "why." Then I had to sit in those feelings and figure out what boundaries I needed to set so I would no longer feel that way. Once you reflect and figure out the "why," release it.
- Acceptance and healing. Releasing is part of the acceptance process, and acceptance is part of the healing process. YOu can't point the finger at someone else. Once you have all the facts, understand the "why," put your big girl panties on, and take responsibility for your role. It's called accountability and growth. What unhealthy habits have you been living with? Write them all down. It's time to unlearn them. Then, one by one, list what you can do differently.
- Release fear of change. Change is how we grow; sometimes, we don't want to go through things because of fear. The lesson will never reveal itself if you hold on to the fear of change or vulnerability. Keeping you stuck and in the same pattern. Release it, and stop holding on to people and things that steal your joy and energy.
- Give yourself grace. Forgive yourself. You are only one person. No one person is perfect. We all fall short and make mistakes. It's a part of life. You are doing the best you can with what you have.
As wives and mothers, we are programmed to wake up, get ourselves ready for work, then the kids, make lunches, get kids to school or daycare, and then off to work. From there, it's nonstop until bedtime.
I would like for you to try this exercise. This is something that has helped me.
- Wake up 10 minutes earlier than your normal time.
- Get out of bed and sit on the floor, legs folded, arms resting on your thighs.
- Close your eyes and count to ten.
- Take a deep inhale through your nose and release through your mouth. Do this three times.
- Focus your mind on positive thoughts. Don't think about all the mom, wife, student, or employee things you need to do. Focus on yourself. Recite positive affirmations and release any negative thoughts that pop into your mind.
- As you go about your day and begin to feel overwhelmed, stop what you are doing, take a few deep breaths, and remind yourself that you are only one person doing the best you can.
Our lives are full of experiences that help us grow. We must take the lessons from those experiences to grow to the next level in life. Maybe even pass on some wisdom to someone going through something you experienced.
If you are in a season of self-discovery, I hope my sharing my story and tips helps you. Please be open to taking a pause and resetting your mind so you can reflect, create healthy habits, set boundaries, and see new possibilities.
Remember this, when you find her, she will never be the same. She's taken the time to nurture herself and realize her value. Her wants and needs are different. The way she moves and talks is different. It's because she knows who she is, finally.