Do you know yourself? Do you know what your desires, wants, feelings are about things in life? Have you looked at your dreams lately? Do you feel like you are invisible? Do you find yourself more comfortable alone than you do out around people? Do you feel you have no opinions worth expressing? Have you put yourself second so long that you have forgotten who you are? I know many people who feel this way and feel as if they have lost themselves somewhere along the way.
Having a self-identity is so important and the only way to have a solid one is to know yourself. Unfortunately many people after they become adults push their needs aside for a spouse, children, job or whatever and try to be the chameleon and be what all those things need instead of what they need themselves. I did that. I was married, raised two children and became disabled very young.For a while my identity was my children’s “mother” and it was “being disabled”. I had to really work to find myself again and it has been so worth it.
One of the greatest tools in the world is a journal. You may already be keeping one and if you have, go back and start reading it to see what you were dreaming and thinking of years ago. If you do not have one, I suggest starting one. I also suggest starting dream books or desire books. On my journey to knowing myself, I created these books and used magazines and pictures to remind myself of what I wanted from life so that if I got too far off track, it was a visual reminder. For example, I have always wanted to be in the country. A couple of times, I moved into the city and was so miserable and could not figure out why until I looked at my dream book and saw the pictures. I had even created from pictures my dream farm. That led me back to the country.
Begin today making yourself a priority. If you do not take care of you, then you are not going to be much help to anyone else. Take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Take time to do pampering things such as the wonderful bubble baths, etc. And if you are like me and not much money, check out your local tech schools that have the beauty program. Where we used to live had wonderful facials for less than six dollars that took almost an hour to give, did manicure for three dollars, etc. I am sure the price is a little higher now but still much cheaper than going to a shop to have it done. That was my once a month treat to go and get that facial.
Take time to read …not just novels but the news, how to sites, and other places where you can form opinions and even voice them. And if you are bashful, post under a signature name like mine here is “simply danLrene”. But it gives experience and courage and helps you feel like you have an opinion that matters. Find friends who are easy to discuss things with and talk about all sorts of different topics and agree before hand that you all can always agree to disagree…you do not have to agree with each other.
And most of all, make that list of things you always wanted to do and start with that list and start doing them one at a time. You may have to save to do some or have yard sales to raise money but start doing the things you have dreamed of. If no one wants to do it with you, go and do it yourself. Be brave and go take that class you always wanted to take or get into that book group that meets at the coffee shop and discusses books they have read. Men, go check out a gym or create one at your house, find that bowling, fishing, whatever friend to go do with once a week. Whatever it is, start taking time for you.
And those of you disabled or chronically ill do the same. Remind yourself that you are NOT your disease and your whole life does not have to be all about illness. You can find something that you love to do and to meet people. I am basically home bound except for doctors and bed bound a lot of the time but I make sure and find things, even if it is online, to bring more self awareness.
Get to know who you really are besides “Tommy’s or Sissy’s Mother or Dad”, or Ms. So and So and this job or that or Mr. So and so or the woman in the wheelchair or Sweetpea’s Mimi. We are all different and while raising our children is important and making sure the family is taken care of and safe is important, so are you. You deserve that little bit of time just for you. I know it seems scary but take baby steps. Try out that hairdo, makeup, outfit, diet, book, group, art class, college class, writing class…whatever it is and get to know the person inside that you have pushed aside to take care of everyone else.
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