_I have days where I feel like I’m suffocating, unable to come out for air in this busyness of life. Feeling lonely and empty, wanting to desperately cry out for help but unable to vocalize it. Sound familiar to anyone out there?
Adjusting to being a mom wasn’t the easiest transition for me, but it’s been the most rewarding part of my life. I quit my job working at my alma mater to become a stay-at-home mom for my son’s first year. I stopped writing and blogging because sleep deprivation is real when you have a baby; and without extra help, I couldn’t find the time to write. Without realizing it, I had put my life on hold … well more like pressing on the brakes really hard before hitting the car in front of me.
There were days where I felt lost. Felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore. Of course, I knew I was a wife and a mother; but those are just two of many aspects that make me a whole person. I chose to suppress the rest in order to focus on what was currently important in my life. And now there’s this inner struggle in my heart.
Like many of you, we hit seasons where we lose our sense of self. And it feels like you are in the middle of the battlefield, feeling lost, hopeless, and fearful. If you are looking for ways to reclaim your sense of self, here are some takeaways that can help steer you back that have encouraged me in this season:
1. Take a breather
When was the last time you stopped in the middle of whatever task you had before you, and took a deep, deep breath? Didn’t it feel great? As if whatever was wearing you down heavily on your chest became lighter and lighter? There are times I even took several deep breaths so that I was able to regain some control of my body and emotions.
2. Refuel Your Passions
Before I became a mom, I LOVED to write during my free time. Whether it was for my personal blog, for my church, or for other organizations, the minute my hands touched the keys of my laptop they didn’t stop until I flushed out my idea (or until I fell asleep…whichever came first!).
Start off by reuniting with something you love to do. It doesn’t need to be this big ordeal; just something small. You’d be surprised how even reconnecting with something you love can make you feel whole again.
3. Ask for Help
We are created for community. We weren’t meant to live this life alone. But when we allow ourselves to cave into our insecurities, the world seems a lot smaller and not as inviting as it once was before. My advice: Stop, and ask for help.
Family and friends. They are my tribe. Without their help, I would still be lost. I remember asking our friends to watch Micah while my husband and I went on our first date the in five months… It was a huge step for me, and it felt so good to have time to reconnect with my husband and act goofy without the pressure of needing to feel composed.
4. Give Yourself Grace
This, by far, is the hardest step for me. Giving grace to others is one thing, but giving grace to yourself is a whole other ball game. We are our biggest critics. Society has given us a reason to carry this guilt, this shame. The fact is: It’s ok. Seasons of feeling distant within ourselves serves as much of a purpose as seasons of joy.
I look at this season of admitting that I feel lost but moving in a direction that enables me to grow, to feel empowered. There are good days, and there are bad days … and I’m learning to embrace them both. For me it’s still a work in progress, but each day I feel more confident and more of myself.