Do you ever think “I have no idea who I really am,” or “will I ever know?”
This process of becoming is long and often it feels like you’re walking on a narrow path that is blanketed in thick fog. The visibility is poor so it’s one step at a time. It is lonely work.
Often, our tendency is to look at others. We fashion ourselves like a patchwork quilt, taking the good parts from what we see in others and appliquéing it onto our own person. But it’s not really us, is it?
Or maybe, you continually bump into people and often feel out of place. Especially when we’re in the process of becoming we’re in change and that disrupts our circles. Others may bump into me and not like the difference they see.
What do we do when faced with these circumstances? We’re not sure who we are, but we’re not the same either and others aren’t thrilled with the change.
A mentor and friend of mine is known for saying:
“You may not be their cup of tea, but you are a cup of tea.”
As you go throughout your day, remind yourself of this truth. Our goal is not that everyone should like us. People-pleasing is a path wrought with frustration and inauthenticity. But, as you begin the transformation of becoming your true self will call forth others on the same journey. Souls that love you just the way you are.
You are a beautiful cup of tea, don’t change your flavor to suit those who won’t be satisfied. Allow yourself to unfurl and develop the depth you were created for.
One of the best ways I’ve found to process my thoughts and where I’m at is journaling. I’m an internal processor which means I have a TON of thoughts bouncing off the walls of my brain at any given moment. It’s a tangled mess in there and writing it down helps pull it apart.
Here’s a quote I heard mentioned on the Lively Show (episode 87):
Have you ever felt that way? I definitely have. Obviously, counseling, therapy or a good friend are fantastic traveling partners for exploring our minds and hearts. For me, journaling is one way to ‘go in’ my mind that doesn’t feel quite so alone. I can get a record of what’s really in there and spit it all out on the pages of my journal.
When I journal I’m often naming. Meaning, that I’m putting a name on what’s going on inside my brain. Maybe, I’m feeling sad. I can start writing down how I feel sad, why, and eventually get to the ‘what’ made me sad (most of the time). When we name things, it puts the ‘thing’ in it’s proper size.
For example, several weeks ago I was picking my son up at school. This is only his second year at the school, so there are lots of ‘rules’ that I still am unaware of. The whole drop off/pick up thing is one of them. We live close enough to walk, so that’s what we do 90% of the time. This was one of the few times I decided to drive.
I decided to go to the back of the school where I’d never picked up before because it was closer to his classroom and all the parking spaces in the front were full. I pulled into what appeared to be a drive lane. All the cars were parked, engines off for the most part. They appeared to be waiting for their kids to get in. My guy is still too little to walk out to the cars and get in…and this was a new thing I hadn’t even talked to his teacher. SO, I decided to pull past those cars and park. I’d heard the bell ring, so I knew I was already running late (cue elevated heart rate).
I ran into get my little guy. When we got back to my car a mom approached me. She was angry. She said, “Why did you steal our spot?! All these moms were in line waiting for these parking spots and you went around and stole it.”
Oh no…have I mentioned confrontation is not my favorite?
I had no idea this was the protocol, so I told the truth, “I’m so sorry, I thought you were waiting for your kids to get in your cars. I’ve never picked up here before, I didn’t know the drill.”
She huffed away, got in her car…drove down two spots, got out and started hashing it through with another mom right in front of me. Man did I feel small.
Let’s just say I was a mess. I was in tears, frustrated and hurt.
I couldn’t understand why I was so upset. I mean, yes it was mean and mean girls & moms are the WORST, but this was going so much deeper for me. I couldn’t shake it. I brought it up with my counselor and started writing it out — pulling it apart.
The thing was, this event triggered my little girl (remember her?). What this mom said to me went directly to my little girl’s heart and hurts. I had quite a few mean girls growing up and she bypassed my adult reasoning and went strait for my little girl.
Once I realized this, I could write out the things I remembered as a little girl, why this triggered those. Then I could begin to soothe that hurt. I could tell her that it’s okay and ask for healing in those wounds. Naming what happened also put this incident in it’s proper size. I could logically see that yes, this was just a crabby mom on a bad day. It was an honest mistake and that’s all it was…a mistake.
Am I all healed up from those wounds? No, but I’m on the path and I am experiencing healing it’s just not complete. It’s like layers of an onion. Each layer named and processed it one step closer to healing. Journaling is integral to this process for me.
Do you journal? What works for you? If you have journaling strategies I’d love to hear them.
“One of the central endeavors of the human experience is to consciously discover the intimacies of who we already are. As in: life is not about building an alternate name for ourselves; it’s about discovering the name we already have.” – Erika Morrison
Today, I’m linking to a guest post on Sarah Bessy’s blog by Erika Morrison. She just released a book all about finding your soul, discovering your true self. This post is filled with so many gems and it’s exactly what we’re talking about. While we can skirt around the subject of WHO we are by trying to fill in blanks about our roles, our hobbies, or interests and what we like… if that’s all the further we get we’ve missed the point. We are not the sum of our surroundings, but a unique individual never to be seen again in history. So, pull up a chair and breathe deep in these words by Erika Morrison.
I recently finished listening to a podcast by Elizabeth Gilbert called Magic Lessons. This was an amazing listen. As a mom of littles (2,5 & 7 years old) I don’t feel like I’m nearly as creative as I used to be, at least I don’t get to exercise my creativity as often. Can you relate?
In one of the podcasts she claims that everyone is creative, but not everyone exercises their creativity. I think this is so true. I know women and men who think they aren’t creative, but will show glimpses of their creativity. We tend to have stereotypes of what creative really means, but at it’s essence it means to create.
We were created by a wildly imaginative God and made in His image. We all may have different gifts and talents, but creativity spans that broad horizon.
If you don’t know where to start, listen to this podcast. Elizabeth is easy to listen to, so gentle and kind and has a great laugh.
Share, what creativity brews in you? Do you make time for it or not? Why? I’d love to hear what makes you come alive. Finding and honing my creativity is a core part of becoming me.
When I’m creating I’m living in the present moment, I’m doing something designed for me and by me.
When I was in high school I dated a boy that knew how to shame. His words stung and clawed into my vulnerable self.
“She’s so pretty. Why don’t you look like her?” – Never mind that ‘she’ was tall, blonde and I was barely over 5 feet, with deep brown hair. I soaked up these words and compared myself with her on a daily basis. I never was the right fit for him, but I was too blinded by shame to see otherwise.
I don’t remember feeling insecure in my body before then. I had no reason to. But then, sometimes shame creeps up when we are most unaware. The comparison game still catches me off guard and its only motive is to shame.
Maybe you’ve heard some of theses voices:
She’s so crafty and creative with her kids, I’m a horrible mom.
How can she look so great after having kids?
At least I cook family meals…
It must be nice to have all that extra time to stay home.
Look at that car/house, it must be nice to have two incomes
It’s all a vortex of shame. We compare to feel less than or to feel greater than. Pick your poison. For me, I usually come up less than, it’s my default. I wouldn’t recommend it.
Brené Brown defines shame as: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.
Shame is like a heavy cloak that suffocates. It is something we assume, take upon ourselves or is placed upon us. Shame’s voice is accusatory, toxic and demeaning. The path of shame leads to death. We become entangled in its lies and are bound and enslaved by them.
Shame is different from guilt. Shame is debilitating and destructive. Guilt is productive, it turns us toward repentance. It’s the record of a wrong action taken, one we are responsible for and consequently convicted by. Conviction speaks correction and leads to freedom.
Sometimes the only way out of shame is to lie to ourselves with the truth. Shame can be so dark and suffocating we come to believe it’s darkness and pain are true. Shame doesn’t let go willingly.
Name your shame. What is it that keeps you tangled in shame? Bring it into the light, that’s the first step.
Then, remind yourself who you are. Remember Day 2?
You are a child of God. (1 John 3:1)
Your body is His temple, your soul a unique, personally designed palace for you and God to live. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
You are loved immeasurably by a wild and gracious God. (John 3:16)
God is your warrior and protector, He fights for you. (Zephaniah 3:17, Exodus 14:14)