I’ll bet you can list all kinds of labels – such and such’s mom, so and so’s wife, your career title, the scout parent, the driver, the maid, the cook. You may have even realized you are living some version of someone else’s life – something you never imagined. You might have the house, the car, the degree, but not the joy and peace you crave.
Sometimes you look around and realize you got lost along the way.
I was married with a little one in my early twenties, with a mortgage, and a state job – from the outside it probably looked like a good life. That was my goal – make it look like a good life. Behind those curtains though, I couldn’t fathom how on earth someone like ME could be living like THIS. I’d found myself in a state of broke and broken – not sure where I would get gas to go to work, or milk, or other necessities, or if I could ever get out of the hole I’d found myself in – financially and emotionally, with an addict husband and pride that would have me smiling through the pain.
Sometimes we lose ourselves in an attempt to make someone else happy.
I didn’t want to hurt my parents, or my husband. I especially didn’t want to admit that I was in a place where I was so lost I wasn’t sure I could find my way out. I’d been so obsessed with keeping the addiction and financial troubles hidden, that it really only festered. When I finally did some clean, it was even more distressing because it had gotten so bad, that the only way out was bankruptcy.
For you, it could be as simple as doing less of your favorite hobby because it interferes with someone else’s goal. Maybe it’s putting your dreams on the back burner to support your spouse, or saving every penny you can to make sure your child has the latest and greatest thing (fidget spinners!) that ‘everyone else has’. Maybe you’re keeping a secret to avoid hurting someone else with the truth, or yourself with feeling like you’ve been a disappointment.
The “should/could/ought to” will get you.
Maybe it looks like eating whatever the kids are supposed to be eating for dinner (because today of all days – they decided they didn’t like chicken nuggets) instead of the lovely salad you’d planned to have – because the voice of your parent rings in the back of your head that there’s starving children in Africa and you shouldn’t waste. It could manifest as feeling guilt for doing (or not doing) something that ________ thinks we ‘should’ do. Like taking that job, or quitting it.
The universe is conspiring FOR you, yet we tend to make the connection harder than it needs to be. We are all part of the same planet, galaxy, etc. It could be easy to get lost among all of the busyness of it all, but do you really want to?
If I were to ask you – “what’s your favorite color?” – would you hesitate? Would you think about your husband/kid/boss’s favorite colors first? Or would you know immediately the shade that brings you joy? What about your favorite animal, or where you’d like to travel to?
As wives and mothers, we’ve been conditioned to put ourselves last.
When we see others putting themselves first, we can easily slip into shaming them for being ‘selfish’. Yet, we long so terribly to have a space and time that’s just ours. Jealousy is inherently wanting what someone else has – but you can have it too. You can have YOU.
Take some time to put yourself first –
This week, find a few moments to sit and ask yourself – WHO ARE YOU? If you think in pictures and metaphors (like me!) you can easily change it to “what are you” and that might feel less intense. I’d love to hear your reactions and stories – hit me up by leaving a comment, or send me an email!
If you would like to turn that tide and get some loving support as you navigate who you are, schedule a FREE coaching call by clicking here or sending me a message on Facebook and we’ll get started! No charge – just change. <3