In Order To Find Yourself, You Must First Get Lost

It is absolutely crazy to me that not only have the last two years gone by as quickly as they has but also that, I have been my word and spent the last 12-18 months relentlessly pursuing the vision I have been creating in my mind and speaking of at every opportunity for what I want my life to look like and where I want to be not only physically but mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Some of you may remember the posts from a few years back. They were dark and morbid. They were from a place I didn’t know existed in my heart. I was in a life, country and relationship that didn’t serve me. So much so, I had given myself over to depression as I didn’t believe I deserved to exist anymore.

The realisation of how deeply into depression I was came when a colleague remarked about my (lack of) appearance. It was clear I was suffering. I had put on weight, my eyes had sunken engulfed in dark circles and puffy eyes, not a drop of makeup on a face that was once flawlessly put together. Over sized sweaters, tights and sneakers – in an office where business casual was the dress code. I was a hot mess. Refusing to socialise, crying at my desk and eating ice cream for breakfast. I hadn’t realised how obvious it was that I had stopped caring until that moment because until then, I was convinced I was invisible.  I didn’t want to be seen nor did I want to see myself, so I avoided looking at my reflection even if I was standing in front of the mirror. If I couldn’t “see me” then that meant no one could…right? Clearly, that was not the case.

At the time, I was sharing a life with a man who I thought I loved. I thought I had it all and that it was the closest thing to what love and a happy family looks like from the outside. What I thought was love was merely the filling of a void I refused to acknowledge existed as I found peace when I was either curled up to my dog staring at the ceiling in silence or in the comfort of another mans arms which occured at the end of my relationship and gave me cause to leave the life that made me irrevocably miserable. It was at this point that I questioned my very existence. The lack of love and respect I had for myself and the fact that I was in a country, in a life, in a relationship that made me want to crawl into a hole and die there gave me cause. I figured if he was going to keep lying to me then I would start lying too. I had given up on living, so I may as well burn in hell for whatever was left. Back then, I didn’t realise how important it was for me to have reached this point. Having become so lost and like a stranger in my own life, my gut knew something my brain hadn’t comprehended yet. I was desperately lost with no recollection or understanding as to how I got there. All I knew was, I had to find a way out and the only way to do that was by finding my way in. Everything we need to know exists inside of us. Every answer we seek is already spoken, we just choose not to hear it until we have no choice but to. I couldn’t possibly have learnt that any other way except to have hit rock bottom.

Two years on and after extensive leadership and communication training, I know exactly how I got there. Hindsight is a gift and a curse. I wish I had realised sooner so that I didn’t make that mistakes I did but at the same time they were mistakes that had to made in order to propel me in to the life I have spent living the past 2 years. When I walked away from the life that didn’t serve me, I gave myself word I was going to find who I was. I was going to work out what made me happy and I was going to ask myself the bigger questions instead of projecting into the world all the things I didn’t like and didn’t want. It was time to work out what I did want and create it.

Reaching to the depths of my soul and plucking out the dreams I had discarded for the relationships I held at much higher esteem than my own self worth, I chose to pursue things that lit me up. Things that gave me a sense of purpose and belonging. Causes close to my heart. I chose to build my own path instead of walking along someone else’s. When someone told me it wasn’t possible, I committed to making it possible. So as I sit here, looking out of the window of my new home in Melbourne, Australia, the last big dream I had yet to realise that is now real as ever,  I feel grateful and at peace. Despite the naysayers and my own nagging fear of failure, I did it anyway. I showed up on days I didn’t want to. I looked at the parts of me I didn’t want to admit I had. I sat in the discomfort of how much of an asshole I had been to myself and the people I loved for the sake of living a socially accepted life even if it made me miserable. I chose to be SELF-less and SELF-ish at the same time. I learnt to say no thank you, to speak my truth and to stand for what I believe in even if it meant standing alone. I learnt that I didn’t have to tell people who I was, I just had to be it and those who wanted to be a part of my journey would show up and those who served no purpose in my life would slip away. To have a sense of self is our greatest gift. Perfect doesn’t exist and to be really real with you, none of us have anything in life to lose except our attitude and perception towards the should, could and would’s of the world.  So if you find yourself in a place of utter loss believe in the process, understanding that, it is merely an opportunity to create something new.

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