When in desperate need to find yourself: Burn it all down and rebuild.
There was a time in my life where I realized I was like a caged bird that had lost hope and stopped singing. Before I knew it, I was dead inside. I’d lost hope, lost myself, I didn’t even recognize myself when I looked in the mirror anymore. I was so unhappy, riddled with depression, questioning and second-guessing myself constantly, I was a shell of who I once was.
When I realized how bad things had gotten, I agonized over the state of my life and the version of myself that was showing up to raise my kids. I was depleted, I felt useless, my marriage was in shambles, I had no purpose other than housekeeping, I was totally disconnected from my body, physically, spiritually, and mentally unhealthy, I’d learned I couldn’t trust my intuition, and I felt utterly alone.
I was disconnected and disconnection is lethal.
I was in need of an entire overhaul – a demolition of my life and looking back now, I’m really proud of my resilience.
I burned it all down, baby.
And the process of burning it down and rebuilding looked something like this:
- I took a hiatus from social media.
Social media has the potential for great things, but at the time – for me – it had become the perfect soul sucker. A mindless numbing and dumbing down of my consciousness, an empty filler in place of the real soul-food I was craving. I needed substance, I needed to make a change, I needed to learn new things and broaden my perspectives.
Laugh reacts and LOL’s, sitting behind our phones with stone straight faces. Synthetic happiness. I was like a junkie, shooting up to ease the pain of my own personal failed existence.
I was sick to death of the façades, the counterfeit happiness I was exuding, the faux and feigned interests in all kinds of bullshit. Overly filtered, I became disconnected from real people and real conversations, and I was so deeply uncomfortable with myself that I couldn’t even last 2 minutes without double checking my phone for something interesting to fill my head with…likes, heart reacts, meme conversations, and heart emojis with no depth behind it or actual love. Not to even mention all of the social media rules that crosses every healthy boundary in the book. Leaving someone on read just means I’m busy with my real life, not that I don’t like you or have something against you. I don’t owe you anything. Social media has perpetuated a prodigious lack of boundaries.
I got sick of the social media politics, reading into things way too much, getting my panties in a bunch, acquaintances having total access to everything I did from what I looked like when I woke up in the morning (a strange and likely filtered flex), to how I felt about the current president, and literally anything and everything in between. I would share specific posts, because I wanted people to know who I was and what I stood for, but not to actually help any cause. I was seeking validation outside of myself. It was showboating and I was nauseated by the realization. It all became such a massive overshare for me and I had to take a step back,
“…do I really enjoy this, or have I just been programmed to document my life publicly online for over ten years and now it’s just the norm? Do I really care about this, or am I sharing it to boost my ego or gain approval from someone I admire?“
I had to unplug. Now I know it’s difficult to do when social media is used so prevalently for school, groups, business, etc…, so these days I really try to stick to my boundaries. It might take me a few days to open a Snapchat or a DM, I may never respond to the picture of your dog – but know I still love him just the same, I might read a message and not reply until midnight or a week from now. I release the anxiety that social media once created for me, I don’t play by your rules, so if I don’t respond, just know that I still love you.
Simplifying is self-care.
I felt lighter when I ditched social media. I was more at ease, less frazzled by blue lit screen time, my attention span got better and I was able to read my books with a baby climbing all over me without having to reread the same line 324 times before comprehending it. For a long time I thought I had undiagnosed ADD, turns out my focus was a muscle that was never being worked and strengthened, because I was so wrapped up in the instant gratification from social media.
Gifting myself with that hiatus was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself, because it created a snowball effect into excitingly beautiful and expansive opportunities that my body had been craving for, even though at the time, I didn’t realize it in my head.
I’m not saying anyone is bad for using social media, I’m not saying you can’t connect over how much you hate vodka and love bourbon. I am saying to gift yourself with boundaries – but more on that later. 🙂
- I dove head first into books and podcasts.
When I ditched social media for 6 months, I found I suddenly had time for podcasts and books. Once this educational and personal developmental vein was tapped, I couldn’t get enough. I had my earbuds in constantly; learning about connection to self, human design, manifesting, feminine and masculine energy, learning how to hone in on better communication skills, toxic sex and sexuality vs. the mass depth and potential that real sexual connection has to offer, deconstruction that must happen if we are to evolve and grow, shadow work: cue the dark night of the soul, I learned more about spirituality and began to heal my religion wound, I learned more about healing from traumas, how to love myself, inner child work, healing my relationship to the wounded masculine after a lifetime of abuse… I slowly began to shift to a more self-loving and empowered version of myself. I turned inward, fully. I tapped into pleasure. I allowed myself space to just be.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Books are the key to my heart. I laughed to myself as I envisioned clicking on a book in a video game to up-level my skills, or my dog’s skills (if you know, you know). If only it were that easy. But it really is a good representation of how much we can benefit from reading. Over the past year, I’ve tossed back about 40 books (this was before my schedule blew TF up!) and if I had the time, it would be much more than that. I want to know, I want to learn all the things, I want to expand and grow, I want to continue learning forever and ever how to be a better version of myself. Books are meditation, focus, presence.
If you don’t have the capacity to read, it’s okay! No judgement, I am finding it very hard to read for pleasure these days, due to my work, but books are my love.
And audio books or podcasts are also golden! ❤
- I journaled every day.
Not the “Today I got up and ate biscuits and gravy…” kinda journaling, but the heart-centered and soul-led kind of journaling. My thoughts, gratitude lists, my faults, my insecurities, musings, and insights…I began to dissect myself like I never had before. I had to face my demons, my shadows – what did I hate about myself? Why? How could I better myself? How could I find a way to become self-compassionate? How could I learn to love and accept my body, no matter what state it’s in? How could I be more loving? How could I see things from another’s perspective? How could I live a more authentic life? What needed tweaking? A LOT needed tweaking (always will!) and it was a painful, yet beautiful, process.
Journaling is therapeutic and helps you iron things out. There is something to be said about putting pen to paper, it’s magical. Literally. Your words are your wand, you’re programing your subconscious mind with the content you feed it. Do your journaling, write gratitude lists every single day to call in abundance.
“Thank you, more please!”
“I am capable, I am resilient, I am beautiful, I am loved, I am worthy, I am powerful, I am expanding. I AM.”
- I worked with a coach
This is a huge one for me, but let me preface with this: I’m not saying you have to work with a coach to reclaim your life, but I did and the change was transformational. I gained more clarity. I did a lot of deconditioning of old patterns and old beliefs. I uncovered things about myself, some wonderful and some hard to face. I worked on healing and forgiving those that hurt me, including past versions of myself that had self-betrayed me while in survival mode. I found an impeccable support system that I had never experienced before in my life. Your support system may not look like a coach, it may be found anywhere else, but it is vital and key. Find a person that validates and sees you, witnessing you in your struggle and in your growth! It’s not selfish to be human and have basic human needs of simply being seen and fully understood. In this surface level society, it’s hard to fully open up. A person that will encourage and motivate you to do better, to get into action, to set goals, and to thrive while getting to know yourself is so beneficial and you are worthy of having that kind of person in your corner. So often I hear clients tell me they don’t know what they want or what their interests are, but that doesn’t mean they actually don’t know, they just need to get reacquainted and develop a relationship with themselves again. Uncover the old you, the you that isn’t in hiding or afraid, the you before all of the wounding and baggage, before all the layers of protection were caked on to keep you safe. Shed those layers, get scared, allow yourself to be stretched and get out of your comfort zone. It’s a beautiful metamorphosis. You can climb any mountain you set your mind to, don’t let your inner mean girl tell you otherwise. Those things she whispers in your ear are lies and they do not own or define you.
- I had to set boundaries and honor them
Boundaries. Let’s talk about it, because it needs to be addressed. I am not here for the notion that we must be good girls (or guys ;)), non-confrontational, quiet, submissive, and agreeable all the time. Quiet frankly, because life is often not deserving of such a response. Yet, we are trained to be easy going and having no boundaries is glorified.
“Don’t rock the boat,”
“Over extend yourself,”
“Bend over backwards to meet anyone else’s needs, but your own.”
“Be selfless, it’s the right thing to do.”
“Hustle, hustle, hustle and grind. Don’t worry about your quality of life.”
To be honest, I feel this is perpetuated because the masses are easier to control when they are docile, but that’s a topic for another day.
Why are we training our children not to have boundaries in a world where people are taken advantage of and walked all over? It’s okay to disappoint people, if it means you are remaining true to yourself. Always remain true to yourself. Another person has no control over you unless you allow it. There were times I’d get so wrapped up in what someone else thought about me that I’d lose myself entirely. At one point in my life I changed the way I dressed, because I was made to feel as if my body was property and not my own, I became much more conservative, even though my natural form made me feel beautiful and in tune with my feminine radiance and still does today. I became much quieter and subdued, allowing fear and a lack of confidence to keep me quiet. I isolated myself entirely, changing my number and cutting off old friends because I was so nervous to rock the boat. I lost myself behind the mask of laidback, but easygoing was just an attractive replacement for blasé and controlled. I became a shell of a woman with no concept of boundaries. I forgot how to drive, I gave all control away, I rotated around the needs and wants of others, always above my own – I self-betrayed for years and years of my life until it was simply the norm and I was numbed to the trauma it was creating in my body. I was suffocating inside of a box that was never meant for me.
We cannot afford to give our power away. You are valuable, worthy, and important. You are the only one living your human experience in your body and from your perspective. Sometimes honoring your boundaries looks like saying no even when you feel bad about it. Sometimes honoring your boundaries looks like standing up for yourself in the face of a narcissist that’s trying to break you down. Maybe it’s cutting off a toxic client, family member, or ending a one-sided friendship that you don’t have the capacity for. Never wish them anything but love and light, but know that you don’t owe them your energy. Bless and release any hard feelings you may have. Always improve for yourself, never for someone else. Set whatever boundaries you need and honor them.
As always, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan, but this is what helped me recover from the dark place I found myself in after a lot of years repressing and making myself small. I still repress myself at times, old habits die hard, but effort is key. These steps weren’t simple or easy, it took me a long time and these are steps I will continue to hone in on for the rest of my life, this journey is never ending. We will always have room to learn and improve, the day we stop learning is a good sign we need to shake things up. Don’t let your ego tell you that you’ve already got it all together, that’s a detrimental lie that will stunt your growth. We aren’t trying to improve ourselves in order to reach some final destination of perfection, the journey is your life and it’s no one else’s but yours to create as you wish.
Do the work if it resonates and feels good to you. You deserve it. You are so strong, so worthy, so awe inspiring. Keep showing up for yourself. Take what you need and leave the rest. ❤
Please feel free to share some other steps you have found to be beneficial to your healing! I love to expand and a beautiful way to do that is through collaboration.
The light in me loves and honors the light in you. Always.