As this time in lockdown goes on I am starting to lose my sense of self, my sense of who I am, my identity, what it is that makes me tick…..and that is a good thing.
As someone who has worked very hard my whole adult life my identity has been strongly rooted in work. My sense of self-worth has a direct relationship to what I am achieving at that time through work. My sense of purpose is directly connected to what I have ahead of me with work.
You get the picture.
And I am sure; actually, I know I am not the only one like this.
Coming from a big family (I am the oldest of 7) we had times of scarcity when I was growing up when my dad was made redundant and had no income. My parents especially my Mum were always quite frugal and we lived a modest life. They were amazing at making money stretch and we have a decent size vege and fruit garden so almost lived off the land. But it left me with a sense of worry about the future when it comes to being able to survive, I don’t know at what point it really kicked in but I do know for as long as I can remember I have always been worried about having nothing, about running out, so to combat that I have taken it upon myself to work work work.
Then when I lost my partner to suicide I really fell back on work as my way of coping with the grief, I focused myself on work instead of dealing with the grief effectively. It got me through for quite some time. It was an effective non-coping mechanism that served me well for years.
I did put a lot of work into not being stuck in the grief, not letting that be the end of my life and not allowing myself to wallow in it. I did some personal and business development courses and did have some major breakthroughs and progressed in certain areas, I didn’t totally avoid it I guess, but I was never able to sit completely still with myself for any period of time. I could do a great yoga class but it didn’t come from a place of meditation or stillness within myself, that was just me being really good at focusing my attention towards the asana of yoga.
Then as time progressed and I was in a new relationship, it started to become a problem – this highly work focussed way of being. I prioritised work over the relationship and after a few years that didn’t sit well with my partner – understandably he didn’t like being second all the time so I started dealing with it. I started working on the work thing. I saw and spoke to various healers and therapists and started to have these realisations that I had a lot of work to do….yes that irony is not lost on me.
I started to realised I was not living a fulfilled life, not truly. I had felt like I had it all pretty sorted out but the more I worked on myself in that area the more I realised I didn’t and it was uncomfortable at times. I was learning how to sit in stillness – that really does not come naturally for me – I was learning how to become less work focused and more family focused. That is an ongoing area of growth for me but I feel that I have improved a lot in this area. For years I missed most of my friends and family birthdays and celebrations. I was not there for quite a lot of it and missed my younger siblings growing up, I don’t have any memories of my younger sisters as little kids. True I had run away from home at a young age so wasn’t around but when I did relate to them eventually it was hardly ever and I wasn’t very present as my mind was always on work.
I don’t think I did anything inherently wrong, I was just trying to get through life best I knew how at the time.
Anyway as I was delving into my why, my default way of being, my way of protecting myself and uncovering some uncomfortable truths I kept defaulting to work. That was my safe place, that was where I felt in control and even at times successful at something!
On my journey to a deeper level of self-understanding and awareness I realised I wanted more, I wanted to live at a deeper level, I wanted to grow spiritually and have more of an enlightened experience of life. I became unsatisfied with what had been my status quo. The more I learned the more I realised I didn’t know and I am still in that space of wanting to know more, wanting to experience more, wanting to understand that deeper realm that most people never get to. The superficial world I had been living in for so long no longer gave me any form of satisfaction, it actually left me feeling even more empty. Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to run away and join a hippie cult I just want to understand and know myself and the world around me including my friends and family on a deeper level. I have absolutely no desire to sit and chit chat about meaningless shit, not that I have ever really been inclined that way but it’s become even more apparent.
I do not get the same satisfaction out of the things I do in my business and work that I used to. I want to make an impact. I want to change people’s lives. I want to leave everyone I come into contact with better than when I found people. I want to help people on their journey, their self-discovery. I want to bring happiness, I want to bring authenticity, I want to bring an understanding that people don’t normally experience. I want to help make the world a better place! Like really a better place not just better for a minute but better for good. How I don’t know yet. I am still trying to work that part out. I am still trying to work out my soul purpose, the reason I was put here. The thing that I am meant to do with my life. I feel I am almost there but still have a lot of growing and developing to do to get there. So I will continue and be open, be open to learning, to growth, to discovering more.