Not knowing who you are, not loving the deepest parts of yourself, keeps you from fully realizing the value in your relationships with others.
I was looking back through my Instagram feed and realized that 78 weeks ago I posted a picture of myself on my birthday. I was totally alone. Probably for the first time ever. It was pretty early in the pandemic. I had no “real” job. There was a glimmer of hope, but mostly utter terror. I wasn’t sure how to BE in the world. I had no idea who I was separate from a man, separate from children, separate from a job, separate - for the first time - from expectations for the future (mine and others).
It had to be this way. The demolition of my life. It was a story built on the shakiest of foundations.
I did not know myself. I was insecure and clinging to threads. I tried to manage my life and everyone in it. And, yet, I could not see my own way through. All I could do was survive in the situation I was in.
It’s all I’d ever known…fix things for everyone else as a self-care strategy.
I was far from thriving because I had no idea who I was outside of my enmeshed life. I didn’t know what was healthy to allow and what to let go of. I had no idea what I was capable of on my own. I felt fragile and voiceless. I had not yet realized any of the power that existed separate from the rest.
It took me a long time to understand this was not happening to me, it was happening because of me. And that being in relationship with others is the best barometer of how healthy your SELF is. And if your SELF is not healthy, neither are your relationships.
WHAT TO DO
If you’ve become aware enough to know that certain patterns of your own behavior are not healthy or productive, think about the following:
You can’t learn in isolation…so rather than retreating, ask questions of those around you and assimilate the information. What should you hold on to? What can you let go of?
Approach your work from an active place…rather waiting to see what happens, ask yourself what do I need to learn to move forward?
You can’t know what you don’t know...so take some time to observe what is going well in your life, what you need to work on and think of a few next steps.
HOW TO DO IT
Here are a couple of things you can do to learn more about yourself *in relationship* with others:
Seek connection. Embrace your healthy relationships and utilize feedback on aspects #inwritingandlife you would like to be more intentional about.
Learn the lesson. Use what you know is working in relationship with others. When something doesn’t work, take note and try something different the next time.
Feel your feelings. When things don’t work out, it is ok to be disappointed. Notice the feelings that come up for you rather than repressing or denying them.
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