F Simple and Serene Living: REDISCOVERING THE ESSENTIAL ME 09 10
Monday, August 17, 2015

REDISCOVERING THE ESSENTIAL ME

Last week, gazing at my reflection in the mirror, something I seem to enjoy doing less and less these days, I wondered where, when, and how I had lost the essence of who I am. 

I'm not talking about the physical me, I know where those changes came from. Like a rock on a stormy coast, life has whittled and battered away at my exterior, leaving lines and sags that define my appearance and speak of my age. That is the persona that the world sees, but it is not who I really am.


It's the internal me, the part that no one else can see that sometimes seems to have morphed into someone I don't know. There are times when I want to reintroduce myself to me. I want to ask what happened to that person I was before I married, had children and grandchildren. Before I became the keeper of the flame. The person that wanted to hold everyone else together while somehow losing the person that I was. The person that I no longer recognized. The person that I am not sure anyone else recognized.


Why do women seem to lose who they are as they go through life? I often think that we get so caught up with trying to please others that we end up pleasing no one, least of all ourselves, and in that endless round of pleasing others we lose the essential us. We seem to drop down into an abyss and we may become afraid to extricate ourselves for fear of who and what we will find. 

As I looked at myself I knew that somehow I wanted to rediscover that inner me. I wanted to find once again what it was like to live life for me. To enjoy life from my perspective. To not worry about what others wanted. To not compare. To just be me. 

So how about you? Do you ever feel that you have lost the essential you? If so, would you like to rediscover it?


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P.S. For more relevant information for women check out my Women Speak and Rewriting Life series.

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29 comments:

  1. Don't you think that we have been many 'me's over our lifetime thus far ? I was just thinking how painfully shy and tongue-tied I was around guys when I was young.. Or who I was when I was in a bad marriage and trying to cope so desperately. Then who I was going to business school. Then who I was as an account manager. Then who I was as a first time grandma and so on.

    You probably haven't lost you, you are probably in the middle of having another one born ...:) I was reading some book or another last week where a zen master was telling a disciple that when he was young he was a fierce tiger but now he was just a cat :)

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    1. Very valid points. I do think we change and grow over our lifetimes, Deb, but i wonder if that core essence we have is always there.

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  2. and something I was reading, we change every 11? years

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  3. Oh Laura, you too? But it's so very difficult to do something about it.

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    1. It can be difficult, Dewena, but I do think it is possible and I hope to find mine.

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  4. Your posts are always so timely...appearing just when I need to read them, providence?

    Laura, I too think you are finding yourself, you are not lost, just your boundaries are blurry because they had to be so flexible for so long. This is helping to define them, and in the process you'll find your true self.

    Some of us take longer than others, that doesn't mean that we are lost, just making more out of our journey.

    Jen

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    1. We always seem to be on the same wave length, Jen. I am going to enjoy this process of finding myself again.

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  5. Hello Laura....I tend to be a giver. Sometimes I get lost in giving to everyone but me. But when I make that realization, I try to turn it around. For instance, this week, I want to go to a new foot reflexology place that opened. Then, tomorrow I plant to swim-----always a delight for me. I have to be careful of plunging into codependency----it's such a comfortable role for me to play. But I know now that everyone has his or her own journey in life. During the bad times, it's important to state "This, too, shall pass" because, in all honestly, it does. Susan

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    1. Women do tend to be givers, Susan. So happy to hear that you are really taking time for the things you love.

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  6. Yes Laura to each thought and sentence that you wrote. I personally find myself referring to the "old," me in my mind and yet when I look in the mirror or see the seasons of life I find that I am not that person any more and I will be honest - I find it frightening at times. The life I knew, that I was part of-the life that I gave everything to, seems to have moved on without me and here I am holding the reigns to wagon that has left.
    I have been setting new goals for myself, that are just for me, in fact I am holding on to them very tight because they are like fireflies and I don't want them to slip away. We can and will do this maturing process with style and joy!
    xoxo
    Jemma

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  7. That is a good question for every woman. I do think it happens to women more than men since we are the primary care givers to our family. It seems the people that I know that haven't seemed to "lose" themselves are the ones that never had kids or worked outside the home and time to still continue life as they always had. It's the sacrifices that we make that make us feel like we've lost ourselves. However, I don't really see it that way. I see it as being very unselfish and being more Christian like. To live an unselfish life should enhance your life not destroy it! I think it's all in how you look at it and if you enjoy putting others first.

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    1. Women in most cases are the primary care givers in families and also we tend to become subsumed in relationships, giving up who we are. When those relationships end or change we have to find a new way to look at ourselves or go back to the way we were before the relationship began. That can be very difficult, but it is very possible to rediscover our essential selves. I see you as a very caring person, Kelly.

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  8. I never had kids and I'm just 38 but I know how it feels to keep losing yourself as well trying hard to find yourself. One thing I can say about you is that you are a kindhearted person, and it isn't a weakness.
    Wishing you all the best,
    Arlette

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  9. That was a fascinating post. Reading a lot of blogs, it seems to (it's only a very personnal opinion) that American women are always expected to be perfect at being a mom and at creating a beautiful home and that while they try to accomplish what's expected of them, they may forget to accomplish who they are. I don't know if that makes sense, it's a feeling I have.

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    1. You are pretty spot on, Magali. American women are socialized to be perfect. Unfortunately there is no perfect except for the perfect person they essentially are .

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  10. Thanks for sharing this..I know EXACTLY what you are talking about!

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    1. It's wonderful to know that I am in good company, Terri. :)

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  11. I can relate to every word Laura! Jemma's comment about "holding the reins to a wagon that has left" describes exactly how I feel. I haven't totally reconciled with those thoughts or feelings but just try to keep myself busy with the things that I love to do. I like to think of myself as a work in progress, hopefully evolving into someone I can live with. We can do this Laura!
    Linda
    mysewwhatblog

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    1. I know we can, Linda and it is comforting to know that we are not alone.

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  12. This is such a great post, Laura. Lately, I have been thinking about what it is I truly want to do with my life right now...I am trying to find more of the inner me in how I spend my time...

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    1. It seems to be a common thread for many of us, Linda.

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  13. I know how I have to spend my time....my plate is full....and I don't doubt that the entire process is recreating a new me and I know because of it I am a better woman. Not in a perfect sense but I am more giving and patient.

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    1. That is wonderful to hear, Ronda. Enjoy every one of those precious moments with your child.

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  14. After my last breakup, I decided then and there I would NEVER be anything else but me. I'd rather be alone than try to be someone else for another person. I was lost for awhile, but I've been found again :)

    You can do it!

    xo

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