What to do when you've lost yourself
A very raw and honest account of my journey to self-love
Hey It-Girls, I hope you're all doing well and feeling ready to welcome in this new month! I've been seeing so many people saying that they feel like they've got their sparkle or personality back now that the sun is shining and I can definitely relate. There's something about seeing the world around you, bathed in sunlight that just makes everything feel more magical and optimistic. Just sitting in the sun for just a few hours always leaves me feeling charged with an indescribable energy that makes everything seem more positive. In the past week I've begun to feel more like myself than I have in a very long time. And while the sun has definitely given me a renewed sense of gratitude, this feels like the result of a much longer journey.
Over the past few years as I've settled into 'adulthood', it has become more and more difficult to recognise myself. I've found myself constantly looking at my old photos or artwork, yearning for an older version of who I used to be. As I swapped out hobbies for side hustles and became increasingly insecure about how I present myself to others, I found myself longing for that feeling of alignment and flow that I used to have when I was younger and more carefree. After a pretty intense emotional breakdown a few weeks ago, I began to realise just how much this loss of identity and insecurity has permeated into my relationships and impacted my quality of life. From co-dependency to being unable to maintain my friendships, I had a mental download that opened my eyes to just how important it really is for us to truly know ourselves. And while self-discovery has always been interesting to me, this realisation made me understand that it isn't just a fun journal prompt or taking those personality quizzes, but rather, it's a vital spiritual journey to experience true happiness.
If you've ever felt like this, you'll know that it can feel isolating, frustrating and honestly pretty sad but please understand that you're not alone. For today's blog post, I wanted to share my experience and some of the things I'm learning on my journey to find myself again and I hope that these ideas can help you if you're experiencing something similar right now.
Engage in activities that your 'old self' would do
One thing that has tremendously helped with reconnecting to my authentic self has been engaging in hobbies that I left behind in search of 'adulthood'. I have been making art since I was probably 6 years old. But with the increasing pressure to 'monetize' and have a 'side hustle', something that used to have me in flow state for entire weekends, ended up becoming such a source of pressure and fear that I let it go altogether. But lately, I've decided to reconnect to art as a hobby rather than a 'hustle' and it has been so therapeutic to feel that sense of flow again. Engaging in an activity that helps you find your flow is honestly its own form of meditation, helping to process trauma, reducing anxiety and depression, and can bring you back to a place of true self awareness and love.
Follow my creative page: @lydiamaycreative
Go inward with shadow work
A huge part of my self-discovery journey has been doing the inner work to understand how I've gotten to where I am now. Understanding the decisions or events that lead to this loss of identity have really helped me figure out how to retrace my steps and undo some of the hurt caused by denying my authentic self. I've been journaling a lot more consistently, meditating and observing my thoughts, practicing self-hypnosis and setting the intention to become more self-aware and radically honest. I've also been re-listening to a book that completely changed my life when I first read it, The Untethered Soul, which talks about the importance of keeping your heart open and refusing to close when something triggers By setting this intention to remain open, I have found myself spiralling less which has created space for self love, authentic self-expression and a true sense of happiness. If you have never read this book, I definitely recommend you add it to your reading list because it is a life changer.
Related: How to re-invent yourself in 2022
Make a commitment to step outside your comfort zone
Finally, while it's great to connect with who you used to be, it's also so important to honour the person you wish to be. I believe that finding your authentic self is the process of marrying your childhood/youthful self with the version of yourself that you dream of one day becoming. While there are aspects of my 'old self' that I admire and love, there is also a version of myself that exists outside of my current comfort zone, that I've yet to explore. Back at the start of the year, I spoke about 'feeling the fear and doing it anyway', but it's only now (after feeling like I hit rock bottom), that I finally feel ready to make that commitment to myself. Whether it's starting a dance class I've always wanted to do, or pursuing a passion I've been scared to follow, I know now that my authentic self is waiting on the other side of my comfort zone. If there's something that has been on your heart to explore, take this as your sign to take a leap and step into that power.
I hope this post gave you some ideas and inspiration to explore your authentic self more deeply this year. Losing yourself is a difficult thing to experience but there is a path to get back to who you are if you're ready to embark on the journey. I can't wait to share with you guys all the new self-discoveries I'm making and I can't wait to see how you guys are learning more about yourselves too! Follow on Instagram so we can connect and share our experiences and be sure to subscribe so you never miss a post!